'I'd try and just say, to block it out...' Australia batter's suggestion for Hardik Pandya on dealing with boos

Australia's star batter Steven Smith suggested Mumbai Indians' (MI) captain Hardik Pandya to ignore the boos and jeers he's been facing during the toss and the matches.

Arunima Purohit
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Since Hardik Pandya returned to the  Mumbai Indians (MI) team as a captain and replaced Rohit Sharma, fans have found it hard to accept this change. Previously, Hardik was the captain of the Gujarat Titans (GT) and was traded to MI before the IPL 2024 season. However, during the toss Hardik received constant boos and jeers from the viewers which seems quite unfair. Thus, Australia's batter Steven Smith advised Pandya to ignore the negativity spreading around him. 

"I'd try and just say, to block it out, it's all irrelevant. No one outside knows what you are going through. No one (from outside) is in that changing room. Personally, for me, it doesn't bother me. I don't care. I don't pay any attention," Steven Smith was quoted while talking on ESPNcricinfo. 

During the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, Smith faced similar abuse from fans all over the world. However, in the case of Hardik, it's the Indian crowd, who are playing the villain here by demotivating and degrading him throughout the last two games. However, MI has played both games away from their home and will return to Mumbai on April 1. 

Not a good IPL season for Mumbai Indians so far

One of the most consistent teams of IPL, Mumbai Indians haven't had a good start to the IPL 2024 season. They have played two matches and lost both at close encounters. While some blame the captaincy change and dressing room atmosphere, some blame the team's performance on the field. If we look closely at both games, even though MI did show a fighting spirit throughout the matches, it seemed like luck didn't favour them. 

While playing against SRH, they almost chased down the score of 278 runs and lost the match by just 34 runs. This shows the team's intention toward the tournament. Moreover, looking at the players' forms, all they need is a breakthrough match, which they might get in their home game on April 1 against Rajasthan Royals. 

Hardik Pandya