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Gautam Gambhir defends Hardik Pandya from criticism of his captaincy, says former cricketers like AB de Villiers achieved little themselves

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Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya has found himself at the center of criticism due to his team's disappointing campaign in 2024. With only one game remaining, MI have been eliminated from playoff contention – becoming the first team to do so. Several former cricketers like AB de Villiers and Kevin Pietersen have questioned Pandya's leadership qualities.

However, Gautam Gambhir has rushed to the of the under-fire MI skipper. The Knight Riders mentor believes Pandya is being judged too harshly in his maiden season as captain. Gambhir haspointed out that critics like de Villiers and Pietersen don't have the strongest records as leaders themselves.

“When you look at their own performances as captains or as players in the IPL, it wasn't great to begin with. What was their success ratio as captains in the tournament?” questioned Gambhir. He pointed to de Villiers' individual scores but said the South African “didn't achieve much from a team's perspective.”

Gambhir's backing of Pandya comes amid growing chatter around the latter's future as MI captain. However, the experienced commentator feels it's too early to write Pandya off and that he deserves more time settle into a leadership role.

De Villiers has since clarified in a social media video that his comments on Pandya were misrepresented. The Proteas legend said he was unhappy with the way journalism has “gotten so low” and certain remarks were taken out of context.

With MI's campaign coming to an end, all eyes will be on the five-time champions' decision about Pandya's captaincy going forward in IPL 2025. Gambhir's support suggests at least one former star still believes in Pandya's potential in the leadership role.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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