Hardik Pandya was on the receiving end of plenty of criticism after Gujarat Titans’ (GT) first defeat of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season, on Monday. Gujarat lost by eight wickets against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2022’s Match 21, despite an unbeaten half-century by their captain Pandya. The all-rounder’s unbeaten knock of 50 runs off 42 balls helped his side post 162 for seven in 20 overs, setting a target of 163 runs which SRH reached with five balls to spare. Other than getting criticised for his side’s lack of runs in the game, Pandya was also under the spotlight for having a go at teammate Mohammed Shami for not attempting a catch. Despite fans not taking it well, the all-rounder received backing from legends Graeme Swann and Matthew Hayden.
In the 13th over of SRH’s chase, Rahul Tripathi tried an uppercut over third man against Pandya’s delivery. Shami, who was standing at third man, reacted late and just stood his ground as he collected it after a bounce.
Pandya didn’t respond well to his teammate’s fielding as he was also hit for consecutive sixes by Kane Williamson. So, on seeing Shami’s effort, the 28-year-old was seen spewing out some angry words towards the pacer.
Here is the video of Pandya and Shami’s on-field altercation:
Hardik Pandya Abuses Mohammad Shami during SRH vs GT Match 21. Respect of Senior is Must. @hardikpandya7 @MdShami11 #CSKvsRCB #CSKvRCB #RCBvsCSK #CSK #RCB #IPL2022 #HardikPandya #MSDhoni #ViratKohli #GTvsSRH pic.twitter.com/l7M3Eqwl4g
— (@DevGarewal21) April 12, 2022
Although Pandya received a lot of criticism from fans, he got strong support from Swann and Hayden.
While speaking to Star Sports, Swann felt that his captaincy should not be blamed for the defeat or for his incident with Shami.
“I will tell you what we shouldn’t do though. We shouldn’t look at it and say all of a sudden Hardik is not a good captain. The fact that they did not score enough runs lost them the game, not Hardik Pandya’s captaincy. He shuffled his packs quite well but of course, your nerves get a bit fried as a skipper or a bowler (in tense situations). It was not Hardik’s captaincy but the lack of runs that cost them”, he said.
Meanwhile, Hayden justified Pandya’s reaction by saying that it was “a really pivotal moment in the match”.
“I reckon this was a really pivotal moment in the match, he was bowling at good speed. Mohammed Shami was on the boundary and he made no effort. In fact, he retreated back to the boundary I won’t say he avoided the catch necessarily”, he said.
“He really needed to go harder inside the boundary. When you are not defending much, it’s about really working hard for your mates, and taking the effort catches and make the plays. Be it run-out or catches or just assists, in general, to stop a batter from scoring boundaries”, he further added.
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