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‘Don’t want to waste’: Matthew Hayden clears Hardik Pandya’s candidature in greatest IPL XI with aplomb

Talking about Hardik Pandya, former CSK star Matthew Hayden also picked Ravindra Jadeja into his greatest IPL XI.

Legendary Indian cricketer MS Dhoni was recently named as the captain of the greatest XI of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The most-capped player in the history of the cash-rich league, Dhoni masterminded CSK’s record-equalling fifth IPL crown in the previous edition. Dhoni and Co. outclassed Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans (GT) in the final-ball thriller to lift the famous trophy last season. On Tuesday, the IPL completed 16 years of the first-ever auction.

Matthew Hayden clears Hardik Pandya’s candidature in greatest IPL XI with aplomb(PTI-Getty Images)

Selecting the ‘All Time Greatest IPL Team’, the official broadcaster of the IPL 2024 roped in an esteemed panel of cricketing legends – Mathew Hayden, Dale Steyn, Wasim Akram, and Tom Moody. While the experts unanimously acknowledged CSK icon Dhoni as the greatest captain, legendary Australian opener Hayden reserved special praise for all-rounder Pandya. Former India stand-in skipper Pandya completed a sensational move to Mumbai Indians (MI) from Gujarat Titans ahead of the new season.

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Hardik Pandya walks into Matthew Hayden’s greatest eleven

“I don’t want to waste, if there is such a thing where you’re picking greats, an opportunity for an Indian talent instead of an overseas talent, so Hardik Pandya walks into my greatest eleven side for sure. I’m going to pick Jadeja as well, as I want that left-arm option, and a great fielder, which Hardik is as well. So Hardik at this stage is my choice,” Hayden told Star Sports.

Pandya to lead Rohit Sharma’s MI at IPL 2024

Five-time winners Mumbai Indians sealed a historic all-cash trade by signing Pandya from Gujarat in the build-up to the IPL 2024 auction. Pandya has arrived in Mumbai after guiding GT to back-to-back finals. In his debut season as captain, Pandya propelled Gujarat to their first-ever IPL crown. Pandya has also been named Mumbai Indians’ captain for IPL 2024. The white-ball maverick has recovered from an ankle injury ahead of the next season.

Hardik’s IPL journey

Pandya made his IPL debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium back in 2015. The 30-year-old has played 123 games in the elite T20 tournament. The former GT skipper amassed 346 runs for his former franchise last season. Pandya only picked three wickets for GT in 16 games. Hardik has won four IPL titles with MI between 2015 and 2021.


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