‘Hardik Pandya will be different once he…’ Harbhajan Singh makes a big statement ahead of T20 World Cup | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has expressed his compassion for Hardik Pandya as he faces a difficult period in his professional life. Harbhajan believes that Hardik, who “hasn’t been a free man in the last two months,” will find his freedom during the upcoming T20 World Cup next month.
Hardik had a disappointing IPL season, both as a player and as the captain of the Mumbai Indians, with his team finishing at the bottom of the points table.To make matters worse, he was constantly booed by fans whenever he stepped onto the field, even at MI’s home ground, the Wankhede Stadium.
But Harbhajan expects the tide to turn in the Americas during the T20 showpiece.
“When he wears that blue jersey, he will be a different Hardik Pandya because we know he can score those runs and take those wickets. I want Hardik to come good as he has gone through a lot and I wish him all the very best to have a very good tournament for India,” Harbhajan told PTI in an exclusive interview.
“If he has a good tournament, obviously India will have a great chance to go forward,” he said.
“Yes, his form is a bit of a concern…and a lot of other stuff was going on around him, his shifting from Gujarat to Mumbai, was a big change and the team (MI) didn’t react too well to Hardik coming back and that too as captain,” the 43-year-old added.
The appointment of Hardik as the captain of Mumbai Indians, replacing the veteran Rohit Sharma, sparked a wave of discontent among the team’s fans. The decision to strip Rohit of his leadership role and hand it over to Rohit was met with strong opposition.
Rumors circulated persistently throughout the season, suggesting that the change in captaincy had created a rift within the MI dressing room. The speculation hinted at a team divided, with players potentially harboring conflicting loyalties.
As the World Cup approaches, commencing on June 1, Rohit will assume the role of the national team’s captain, with Hardik serving as his second-in-command.
Harbhajan, a multi format World Cup-winner, urged the team management to bring Hardik and Rohit on “same page”.
“…it looked like they (MI) were not playing together as a team. So there was a lot going on. Hardik wasn’t a free man in the last two months. I believe both of them and many others who have played in different teams will have to come together to do something special for the nation…,” he said.
“Winning a World Cup is a bigger achievement than winning an IPL trophy, so I would urge the management to bring everyone together, have them on one page and make sure they play like one.
“I believe it’s the responsibility of the management to come together, and win together. Even if they lose they should be losing together.”
(With PTI inputs)


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