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IPL 2024: Hardik Pandya pushes Lasith Malinga away after SRH defeat, draws further criticism from MI fans

Hardik Pandya and Malinga. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Hardik Pandya’s tenure as Mumbai Indians captain has gotten off to a poor start, with back-to-back losses added to the growing criticism from fans and experts alike. However, a recent incident with Sri Lankan legend and current MI bowling coach Lasith Malinga during a post-match interaction after MI’s defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has added criticism among MI fans.

Since Pandya’s return to the MI camp and his appointment as captain, fans have been disappointed with the decision. It was quite evident during MI’s opening game against Gujarat Titans (GT) as the cricketer was booed throughout the game.

Pandya’s on-field decisions and performances have drawn criticism from ex-cricketers and experts alike. MI’s lackluster start under Pandya’s captaincy, with defeats in their first two games against GT and SRH respectively, has only aggravated the situation.

Also read: Hardik Pandya reflects on Mumbai Indians’ bowling performance against SRH

Hardik Pandya ignores Lasith Malinga

Videos have been circulating on social media showing Pandya shoving Malinga away when the former MI great attempted to embrace him following their defeat to SRH. Pandya can be seen dodging Malinga’s hug and instead shaking hands with the opposition players.

Does Hardik Pandya kicked Lasith Malinga? His hands, face reaction same story.
Not a good way to treat legend like Lasith Malinga. #HardikPandya #SRHvMI pic.twitter.com/Yg5a5hNRTE

— Satya Prakash (@Satya_Prakash08) March 28, 2024

Before this, another clip showed Malinga vacating his seat in the dugout as Pandya prepared to pad up, despite assistant coach Kieron Pollard initially moving to make space. Fans were annoyed that the captain did not stop the senior pro from giving up his place.

Malinga Ki Hardik Ki Gattiga Adho Aindhi

Ninna Hug Kuda
Mottom Something Fishy pic.twitter.com/ToAARNW68w

— Kiran (@KIRANPSPK45) March 28, 2024

Also read: Lasith Malinga gets off his seat to make way for Hardik Pandya, video goes viral

This incident fuels the fire already raging around Pandya’s controversial appointment as MI skipper. The defeat to SRH itself was a record-breaking affair, with the opposition posting the highest-ever IPL total of 277 for 3. Despite a good effort in the chase, Mumbai Indians fell short by 31 runs, marking their second consecutive loss in the tournament. Pandya’s form with bat and ball has been poor, adding scrutiny to his captaincy.

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