aakash chopra on hardik pandya ipl 2024

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With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 just a month away from start, former Indian cricketer-turned commentator, Aakash Chopra on Thursday, February 22 made a big statement around Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The 30-year-old, who is currently rehabilitating from an injury, will return to competitive cricket as Mumbai Indians take the field on March 24 in Ahmedabad.

Pandya, who was traded to MI in December 2023 ahead of the IPL mini-auction, will be leading the five-time champions in Mumbai Indians. But as the former GT skipper takes the field in Ahmedabad on March 24, Aakash Chopra wants him to be “booed”.   Check the top betting trends on the   best betting apps in India   and sites.

“I want Hardik Pandya to get booed in Ahmedabad. I’ll tell you why. First IPL season, Mumbai versus Kolkata. We were playing at the Wankhede Stadium. Ajit Agarkar was in our team and we had to take him off the boundary because he was Mumbai’s boy, playing against Mumbai, in Mumbai and getting booed by the Wankhede crowd. So we put him back inside the circle because it was not nice,” Aakash Chopra said during the IPL 2024 schedule announcement on Jio Cinema.

“Now Hardik Pandya goes to Mumbai after winning the championship once, leading the team to the final the next time. And not just that but choosing to leave the franchise. If there isn’t any heartburn in the public of Ahmedabad, if they don’t feel hurt, where is the fun? I am expecting. No, I am hoping - don’t tell anyone - that Hardik goes for the toss and people go ‘boo’. That’s where the league matures,” he further added. 

It will be challenging: Parthiv Patel on MI captaincy change

The former India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel during the IPL 2024 schedule announcement spoke of Hardik Pandya taking over the MI captaincy reigns from one of the most-successful captains in the league. Patel feels that this captaincy shift in the MI camp will be one of the talking points, especially for Hardik Pandya.

“Of course, his (Pandya’) captaincy is a talking point. The way he led Gujarat Titans, winning the championship in the first year, a last-ball finish in the final next year, it was a great run at Gujarat Titans,” Parthiv said. 

He further added that this will be a crucial season for MI, especially for Hardik Pandya. “There will be a lot of pressure on Hardik. It will be challenging; replacing a five-time title-winning captain and a team that is used to playing a certain way for 10 years,” opined Parthiv Patel while speaking on Jio Cinema.

Speaking of the Mumbai-based franchise, while they will open their 2024 campaign against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on March 24, they will next play Sunrisers Hyderabad in an away game on March 27. The Hardik Pandya-led side will then take on Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals in home fixtures on April 1 and 7 respectively.