Kieron Pollard defends Hardik Pandya after El Clasico clash

Five-time IPL (Indian Premier League) champions Mumbai Indians are having a season to forget in 2024. With six matches already played, the side finds itself on the back of just two wins and four losses. One of the biggest changes made to the team for the season is star all-rounder Hardik Pandya being roped in from Gujarat Titans and replacing Rohit Sharma as the skipper.

The side recently faced defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and faced their fourth loss of the season. Many came forward to pin the blame on skipper Hardik Pandya after the all-rounder put in a subpar performance with both the bat and the ball.

However, Mumbai Indians’ batting coach, Kieron Pollard, was of a different opinion. The former Windies all-rounder opined that he is fed up with the constant scrutiny behind Pandya’s performance and that the MI skipper is trying his best to propel his side to a win.

“I am fed up of [us] looking to pinpoint individuals; cricket is a team game at the end of the day. This is an individual who is going to represent the country in less than six weeks’ time, and all are going to cheer him and want him to do well. So it is high time we try to encourage and stop nitpicking and see if we can get the best out of one of the great all-rounders India has produced. He can bat, bowl, and field, and has an X-factor about him,” Pollard was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Furthermore, Pollard talked about how Pandya, as a player, is trying to evolve and reflected on how taking accountability and responsibility for performances comes with time and experience in the game.

“As an individual, you have to evolve, When you are young, you have the youthful exuberance. You go out and do things in a certain manner. The older you get, accountability and responsibility kick in. What I am seeing is the guy is evolving. We, as individuals, want to see certain things but sometimes the game does not demand certain things and [players] are going to make mistakes as you go along, as we all have done,” he added.