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Hardik Pandya handed clear-cut advice from Sehwag over major MI captaincy call: ‘He can win matches on his own if…’

Hardik Pandya batted at no.7 in MI’s first match against GT, and Virender Sehwag spoke in detail about the decision.

Hardik Pandya appeared for Mumbai Indians for the first time since his controversy-ridden return to the franchise last year in November. The all-rounder captained the side that included former skipper Rohit Sharma; however, MI endured a narrow loss to Gujarat Titans in their IPL opener on Sunday.

Hardik Pandya during a practice session in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024(PTI)

While Hardik’s return was among the major talking points in the clash, many were left scratching their heads at the MI captain’s batting position in the match. In a tight run-chase, Hardik came to bat at no.7 when only two overs remained in the run-chase.

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The MI all-rounder used to play a finishing role before joining the Gujarat Titans two years ago; however, in the past two years, Hardik established himself as a solid no.4 batter, pacing the innings and unleashing his aggressive strokeplay towards the final overs.

He played only 4 deliveries in the chase before being dismissed in the final over, leading many to believe that Hardik should have arrived earlier. As MI prepare to face Sunrisers Hyderabad in their second match of the season, former India opener Virender Sehwag believes that the no.4 spot is best suited for Hardik in MI batting lineup.

“I think he should bat at no.4. He has played at no.4 for two years at GT. If not 4, he should play at 5. When he will come to bat, there will be spinners in place. And spinners always have a fear for players who can hit sixes. Hardik has the ability to smash sixes with ease. He can win the match on his own if he comes to bat at that number,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

Searching for first wins

Both, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, are eyeing a first win of the season as they meet on Wednesday.

Despite promising performances from key players like pacer Jasprit Bumrah, impactful innings by Dewald Brevis, and explosive batting by Rohit Sharma, MI failed to capitalize against the Titans. Sunrisers, meanwhile, were hit by the ‘Russell storm’ as they conceded 208 in the first innings against KKR; even as Heinrich Klaasen led the SRH’s chase with a quickfire 63, the side fell short by 4 runs.


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