MI vs LSG: "I love the way he plays." – AB de Villiers clarifies his comments on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy

AB de Villiers, Hardik Pandya

Former South African batsman AB de Villiers has given a clarification on his recent comments on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy.

Hardik Pandya joined the Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024 and replaced Rohit Sharma as the team’s captain. He was under pressure from the start after replacing one of the most successful captains in IPL history and failed to live up to expectations.

Mumbai Indians became the first team eliminated from IPL 2024 last week. They are currently languishing in ninth place in the points table with just eight points from 13 matches.

With Hardik Pandya failing to impress in his first season as captain of the Mumbai Indians, AB de Villiers raised eyebrows by saying that the Indian all-rounder’s “captaincy style is quite swashbuckling, ego-driven and big-chested.” “.

“Hardik Pandya’s style of captaincy is quite swashbuckling. He is somewhat ego-driven, open-chested,” de Villiers had said on his YouTube channel.

“I don’t think the way he walks on the field is always genuine, but he has decided that that is his form of captaincy. Almost like MS (Dhoni). Cool, calm, collective, he always sticks his chest out.

“When you play with a lot of experienced players, guys who have been around for years, they don’t believe in that. It worked in GT, where it was a younger team. Sometimes inexperienced players love to follow that kind of leadership,” he had added.

Many believed that AB de Villiers was attacking Hardik Pandya with his comments. However, the legendary batsman has now said that his comments were misinterpreted and expressed his disappointment over the same. He also stated that he loves the way Pandya behaves on the field and cited his own example to back the Indian star under pressure.

“I see there is a lot of activity on decided to delete it, deleting some of those comments and leaving the rest,” de Villiers said on his YouTube show on Monday (May 13).

“I said it very clearly and I will say it again: I love the way Hardik Pandya plays. I love the way he captains. All I can say is that his style of captaincy is something he has certainly worked on. It is not something you can just walk out the door and be a brave captain.

“The reason I said it’s not always genuine is because I played exactly the same way. He wasn’t the genuine, soft-spoken AB de Villiers that he was at home. The guy you saw on the field was in some ways a act”. Sometimes you have to show your face and show your rival that you are a force to be reckoned with. That’s what Hardik Pandya does. I say that the style is not always the easiest to adapt, especially for some veteran players. .

“I love Hardik Pandya, that’s what I said. To you journalists, I’m sorry for bursting your bubble,” Villiers added.

Pandya and Mumbai Indians will look to end their season on a high. The five-time champions will take on Lucknow Super Giants in their final match of the season.