“Gavaskar vs. Pandya: MI’s 4th Loss”

Sunil Gavaskar did not miss this either and criticized Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya for his ‘ordinary bowling and captaincy’.

"Gavaskar vs. Pandya: MI's 4th Loss"
Hardik Pandya was pretty average against CSK last evening.
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“Gavaskar vs. Pandya: MI’s 4th Loss”

Sunil Gavaskar singled out Hardik Pandya for his ordinary bowling and captaincy as Mumbai Indians suffered their fourth defeat of IPL 2024, losing to Chennai Super Kings by 20 runs on Sunday evening. Now placed 8th on the points table, with every defeat, MI’s chances of qualifying for the IPL playoffs are being seriously affected. The five-time champions have lost 2 games at the Wankhede and now that they are traveling to other venues for their next three matches, Hardik is going to have to go through the fire, making the task a little tougher.

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Hardik’s own performance is putting him in the firing line. CSK scored over 200 last evening, but the target could have been lower had Hardik stopped MS Dhoni from scoring big in the last over. Instead, Hardik, whose bowling looked poor, took 2/43 from three overs, including a 24-run final over in which Dhoni ended the innings by hitting him with a hat-trick of sixes. And boy, Gavaskar was angry. Expressing anger on Hardik, the former captain of India held the all-rounder responsible for his old plan.

“Probably the worst kind of bowling I’ve seen for a long time. It feels like I’ve embraced my hero. I’ve got balls he’ll hit sixes on. One six is fine. Next ball a length The ball is when you know the batsman is looking for a length ball which he wants to hit. The third ball is again a full toss on legs when you know he (Dhoni) wants to hit a six. Said on Star Sports during.

“Oh, absolutely normal bowling, normal captaincy. Despite the fact that Ruturaj Gaikwad batted so well with Shivam Dubey, he should have been restricted. I believe he should have been restricted to 185-190 Was.”

The game continued MS Dhoni’s love affair with the iconic Wankhede Stadium. 13 years after winning the 50-over World Cup at this hallowed venue, Dhoni’s unbeaten 20 off four balls was the icing on the cake for the fans. The first six was a vicious hit between long off and extra cover, while the second was aimed towards cow corner. The third six was one that Dhoni carelessly blasted off his pads, electrifying the Wankhede crowd, while their ‘god’ Sachin Tendulkar watched the attack from the changing room.

Dhoni’s cameo overshadowed Rohit’s fighting century.

Dhoni’s innings was excellent after CSK got boosted by half-centuries from Gaikwad and Dubey. Following the decision to promote Ajinkya Rahane as the opening batsman along with Rachin Ravindra, Gaikwad, who came in at number three, scored 69 runs in 40 balls with the help of five fours and five sixes. Supporting him from the other end was Dubey, whose growth this season has been phenomenal, with the all-rounder scoring 66 off 38 balls – his second half-century in IPL 2024 – and completing 2500 IPL runs. The two made a 90-run partnership to keep the MI bowlers waiting for the breakthrough.

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Dhoni and CSK’s victory included another special innings, played by Rohit Sharma, in which the former MI skipper scored an unbeaten 105 off 63 balls. Opening the innings, Rohit remained deprived of strike in the middle overs as MI paid the price for a collective batting failure. After Rohit’s century, the next best was Tilak Verma’s 31 off 20, as Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Tim David were unable to get the job done. The win took CSK to 8 points and ensured the five-time champions remain on 3 points as they take solid steps towards the playoffs.

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