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“Hardik Pandya maybe didn’t want to face Rashid Khan”: Irfan Pathan questions logic behind sending Tim David ahead

Cricket"Hardik Pandya maybe didn’t want to face Rashid Khan": Irfan Pathan questions logic behind sending Tim David ahead

Srinagar: Former India all-rounder turned commentator Irfan Pathan has lashed out at Hardik Pandya for batting below Tim David in the IPL match vs Gujarat Titans on Sunday.

Chasing 169 against Gujarat Titans in their IPL 2024 opener, Mumbai Indians needed 62 from 48 with eight wickets in the bank. Rohit Sharma and Dewald Brevis were batting in early forties – both well-set and MI were the favourites.

And then Rohit fell off the first delivery of the 13th over and it triggered a slump that saw MI finishing their innings seven runs short of the target.

And once Brevis fell in the 16th over, the balance began to shift. With spinner operating from one end, GT kept MI batters quiet in the middle overs.

However, MI still had a couple of world-class finishers in their batting line-up including captain Hardik Pandya and Australian Tim David.

Considering that spin was still in play, MI chose to send David at no. 5 ahead of Pandya who only walked in to bat when the contest had swung in favour of GT with the visitors needing 21 needed from 10.

Pathan lashed out at Pandya for promoting Tim David ahead of him and accused him of being afraid of Rashid Khan. David scored a 10-ball 11.

“When they were chasing, they sent Tim David higher up the order. He sent Tim David when Rashid Khan had an over left,” said Pathan.

“I felt Hardik Pandya maybe didn’t want to face Rashid Khan after having not played cricket for a long time.

“This could be the case. I won’t agree with the fact that there was an experienced Indian batter sitting in the dressing room and sent an overseas player under pressure against Rashid.”

Irfan Pathan was also unhappy on not giving the new ball to Jasprit Bumrah.

“Hardik Pandya made big mistakes in the match. In the powerplay, he bowled 2 overs himself, that was a big mistake. He brought Jasprit Bumrah into the attack a bit late,” Irfan Pathan said.

Meanwhile Mumbai Indians batting coach defended the decision to send Hardik Pandya late into the chase of 169 against Gujarat Titans.

“No decision is made on full autonomy, so we can’t say it is his decision. As a team, we have plans; we talk about setting entry points for batters. The top order batted deep into the game, and we also had two power hitters to go in the back end,” Pollard told reporters.

“Usually, if you look at it over time, Tim (David) has finished games for us, and Hardik has done it over the years. So, at any point, any one of them can resurrect the situation. It didn’t happen tonight, so there will likely be a chat about who should have gone earlier,” he added.

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