“You will not earn the respect of the team” – Irfan Pathan warns Hardik Pandya in his latest Twitter speech

Hardik Pandya and Irfan Pathan

Former India all-rounder and 2007 T20 World Cup winner Irfan Pathan lashed out at Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya for not setting an example last night in Wankhede. In what was MI’s first home match of the season, the team, instead of fighting back and trying to win the match, succumbed to the pressure against Rajasthan Royals to go another winless match. Mumbai will now hope to turn things around when they take on Delhi Capitals in front of the home fans.

The booing and taunting for Hardik Pandya was expected to end last night, but things escalated further instead of slowing down. The crowd, right from the coin toss, was continuously taunting the all-rounder for that infamous move back to Mumbai Indians from the Gujarat Titans. What has further instigated the fans is the MI management’s decision to remove Rohit Sharma and appoint Pandya as captain.

Then, the results that Hardik Pandya’s team suffered in the first 3 matches further inflamed the anger of the fans. If you can forget the first defeat in which MI came very close, then the loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second match felt more like an insult. Never has a team conceded 277 runs in the league. Then last night against Rajasthan Royals, MI produced another embarrassing performance with the bat as they posted this IPL’s lowest total on the board – 125.

Irfan Pathan asks Hardik Pandya how he is going to earn respect

Irfan Pathan, who is a prominent and important part of Star Sports’ Hindi commentary environment, is always very active on X (formerly Twitter), especially during IPL matches. Last night when RR was playing MI, Pathan posted a series of tweets about the match. But the penultimate tweet he made last night about Hardik Pandya is what caught the public’s attention.

Pathan didn’t really like the way Hardik Pandya batted last night as he departed for 34 runs, having reached the middle order after a dramatic collapse in the top order. The former all-rounder made it clear from his side that Pandya will not be able to earn respect until he defends the team in difficult situations. And indeed, the Baroda-born cricketer had the perfect opportunity last night to make amends and receive some love from the fans.

“You always want your Leader to do the hard things. If he doesn’t do it, he won’t earn the respect of his team,” Irfan Pathan wrote in X.

Irfan Pathan cryptically takes aim at Pandya with another tweet

Before attacking Hardik Pandya with that leadership tweet, Irfan Pathan had previously attacked him, cryptically using Jasprit Bumrah’s name. Before last night’s match, Pandya had either bowled the first over himself or given the responsibility to someone else instead of trusting the best bowler in the league, which is Bumrah. That decision had also become a hot topic of discussion and last night, with MI posting less than 130 as a target, Pandya had to look at Bumrah for the first time.

That was what Pathan tried to highlight: “It is not rocket science to get the best bowler from the beginning. Finally Bumrah with the new ball. He was forced by the small total of RR”.