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“Not Hardik Pandya’s fault…” – Harbhajan Singh targets Rohit Sharma for MI’s poor IPL 2024 campaign

Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has criticized the decision of the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) team management to appoint Hardik Pandya as captain, as he claimed that the controversial decision led to a dismal performance in the IPL 2024.

Harbhajan, who represented the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL for a decade, stressed that the franchise’s decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Hardik backfired, as the five-time IPL champions endured a lackluster campaign, finishing at the bottom of the IPL 2024 points table with only four wins from their 14 matches.

Following a successful two-year stint with the Gujarat Titans (GT), Pandya was brought back to the MI. Notably, the Indian all-rounder led the GT to the IPL title in 2022 and then to the final last year.

Harbhajan Singh blames MI team management for their dismal IPL 2024 campaign

However, the franchise’s decision to replace Rohit as captain with Pandya was met with backlash, both on and off the field. Pandya faced criticism from fans in stadiums and on social media.

Given that, the MI skipper struggled to deliver match-winning performances. Pandya scored only 216 runs at an average of 18.00 and a strike rate of 143.04 and claimed 11 wickets at a dismal 35.18 average and a 10.75 economy rate in 14 games.

Well, for both MI and Pandya, IPL 2024 proved to be forgettable, and the former Indian spinner stressed that appointing Hardik as captain was a wrong move and that it created differences in the camp., leading to their dismal performance this season.

However, the commentator noted that Pandya should not be blamed for this poor show, but this decision could have been made a year later. He said that the MI didn’t play like a team in the IPL 2024, and it was visible with the media reports already claiming to have groups in the MI camp.

Timing of making Hardik Pandya the Captain was not right: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh was quoted as saying by ANI: “I have played with Mumbai Indians for 10 years. MI has a big team. The team management is great, but this decision has backfired. May be the management was thinking about the future while making Hardik Pandya the Captain, but this did not set well with the team.

“When the team was playing, it seemed as if the captain was playing differently and the entire team was different. They did not look united. It was bound to happen. It pains me to see such a big team, an old team of mine face such poor results. I think the timing of making Pandya the Captain was not right. Maybe this could have been done after a year.”

He backed Pandya and indirectly slammed Rohit Sharma for not helping him to unite the team. Harbhajan signed off by saying, “It is not Hardik Pandya’s fault since he was the Captain of Gujarat Titans as well. The team did not play collectively and the senior players should have made sure the team is united and it remains the same no matter who is the captain. Captains come and go. They did not play like a team.”

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