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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  ‘No one knows what you are going through…’: Hardik Pandya told to ‘block’ criticism in MS Dhoni's style
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‘No one knows what you are going through…’: Hardik Pandya told to ‘block’ criticism in MS Dhoni's style

Hardik Pandya is being booed by the crowd, his out-of-context videos are all over the internet and his on-ground decisions are being questioned

Mumbai Indians' captain Hardik Pandya reacts during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians (AFP)Premium
Mumbai Indians' captain Hardik Pandya reacts during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians (AFP)

Hardik Pandya is going through a struggling phase in IPL 2024 as Mumbai Indians kicked off their campaign with two back-to-back defeats. The IPL fans, who were already angry at Hardik Pandya for replacing Rohit Sharma as MI skipper intensified their criticism after a poor start by the franchise. Hardik Pandya is being booed by the crowd, his out-of-context videos are all over the internet and his on-ground decisions are being questioned. Amid intense backlash, Australia great Steve Smith shared an MS Dhoni anecdote and asked Hardik Pandya to “block out" the outside noise.

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"Having faced something similar in the past, I'd try and just say, to block it out, it's all irrelevant. No one outside knows what you are going through. No one [from outside] is in that change room," Steve Smith said while speaking with ESPNCricinfo.

"Personally, for me, it doesn't bother me. I don't care. I don't pay any attention. You know it's all white noise, but certainly players do hear things and everyone's entitled to their own emotions and how they respond to those. So is it affecting him [Hardik]? Maybe. It's possible. He probably hasn't experienced that before in, in any walk of life. So it's natural, I suppose, and particularly being in India and a star Indian player, to be in that position where some fans are booing you, it's certainly something he wouldn't have experienced."

Steve Smith shared his IPL 2017 experience when he replaced MS Dhoni as the skipper of Rising Pune Supergiant. The Australia batter said his equation with MS Dhoni made things really easy for him. "It was an enjoyable season and we had some success that year [2017], I suppose, which helped as well," he said.

“But MS was great with everything that he did. He was supportive, he helped me in any way that he could. He was great behind the stumps, obviously. He's got a great view of what's going on in the game and the angles that sort of take place on the field, and was able to sort those out and get people in the right areas," he added.

Hardik filling big shoes of Rohit Sharma

Steve Smith said that the challenge is harder for Hardik Pandya as he is filling the big shoes of Rohit Sharma. He expressed excitement to witness how Wankhede crowd reacts to Hardik Pandya, who faced considerable hostility in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad from the Mumbai Indians fans.

"Hardik is in the middle of a challenging time, losing the first two games of their IPL season. It's a big one for him. He's filling big shoes with Rohit Sharma, who's been the most successful captain [with Dhoni] in IPL history, lifting five titles, and it hasn't started well for him.

"So he's under a little bit of pressure at the moment and it'll be interesting to see what the reception's like in their first home game at Wankhede in a couple of days' time. We have heard a few boos going around at the grounds, which… that's been disappointing from my aspect. But I'm intrigued to see what the reception's like in Mumbai. We know how big a star Rohit is and how much he is loved inside that stadium," he further added.

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Published: 30 Mar 2024, 02:54 PM IST
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