Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has opened up about Hardik Pandya’s reaction when he was not retained by Mumbai Indians before the IPL 2022 mega auction. Shastri said Pandya was “shocked” as he had expected MI to keep him after the consistent performances he had displayed ever since his IPL debut in IPL 2015.
The five-time champions held on to their captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav in the three Indians category and then retained Kieron Pollard as their overseas option. Hardik Pandya, his brother Krunal Pandya and wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan were let go.
Later, MI picked up Ishan Kishan in the auction for an obscene price of INR 15.25 cr. However, before that Hardik had already been contacted by champions Gujarat Titans and was appointed as their captain with Krunal going to the Lucknow Super Giants.
“It shocked him when he was not retained by Mumbai Indians,” Shastri said on commentary during India vs England second ODI at Lord’s. “It was tough… MI had Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharna, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya so they had to pick three out of those five. Ishan Kishan was obviously picked in the auction,” Shastri said while on commentary during the India-England series.
Hardik Pandya was one of the best players in the seven seasons when he played for the tournament’s best-performing franchises. The all-rounder played 92 matches, where he scored more than 1500 runs at a strike rate of around 150.
Shastri then talked about how Hardik enjoys playing under pressure and especially when he is given added responsibility, he performs even better.”He was picked by Gujarat Titans, where he was given the extra responsibility of captaining, which did him a world of good. When given responsibility, he’s a completely different cricket as opposed to just batting and fielding,” he stated.
With the lack of important players like Hardik and Krunal Pandya, the Mumbai Indians had one of their worst seasons in tournament history. MI was at the bottom of the table as they only won four games out of 14 matches. The Five-time champions started their season with eight straight losses before winning their first game against the Rajasthan Royals.