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IPL commentator Manjrekar schools home crowd amid constant booing of Hardik Pandya: ‘Behave’

The franchise’s decision to replace Rohit Sharma, who has led it to the crown five times, with Pandya has not gone down well with many supporters.

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPEPUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

MUMBAI INDIANS (MI) captain Hardik Pandya has been relentlessly booed by the fans over the franchise’s captaincy saga in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Be it in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad or Mumbai, the franchise’s home ground, the ace cricketer has not found any respite.

The matter has turned worse with the MI losing their first three matches in the tournament and the 30-year-old pacer coming under the scanner over his captaincy.

On Monday (1), Pandya, who replaced Rohit Sharma, Mumbai’s most successful captain for the top job, was booed during the toss at the Wankhede Stadium in the match against Rajasthan Royals and Sanjay Manjrekar, who is doing commentary in the tournament, came to the home captain’s rescue by asking the crowd to “behave”.

Read: Hardik Pandya booing: Indian fans had once mocked Gavaskar at home

The former cricketer, who himself has been at the receiving end in the past over a controversial take on India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, said during the toss, “Two captains with me – Hardik Pandya, captain of the Mumbai Indians, a big round of applause, ladies and gentlemen.” But when Pandya still received a hostile reception, Manjrekar issued the spectators an early warning. “Behave,” he thundered.

Read: Mumbai Indians crash to third straight defeat in IPL 2024

Rajasthan captain Sanju Samson won the toss and elected to bowl and soon MI were in deep trouble, losing four wickets for just 20 runs on board. They ended up at a below par score of 125 for 9 in 20 overs which the opponents easily overhauled with 27 balls and six wickets to spare.

While MI were fielding to defend their ordinary total, former captain Sharma was also seen trying to calm the crowd down while standing near the boundary rope.

After their second game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on March 27, a video went viral showing Pandya hitting the railing of the spectators’ enclosure in the gallery while sprinting up the staircase towards the dressing room following a talk with owner Akash Ambani on the sidelines as the fans booed him, chanting “Rohit, Rohit”. Mumbai conceded 277 runs against Hyderabad in that game, a record in the history of the IPL and despite a valiant effort with the bat, lost by 31 runs.

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