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IPL 2024 | "You can't really help the crowd reaction": Pandya ahead of RR clash

Updated on: 01 April,2024 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
G Krishnan | sports@mid-day.com

MI leggie Piyush Chawla feels fans perception towards skipper Pandya will change once they register first win

IPL 2024 |

Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya during a practice session at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Pic/Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians have lost both their IPL-17 matches so far and the crowd booing Hardik Pandya, who replaced Rohit Sharma as skipper this season, is only adding to their troubles. However, on the eve of their first home match against Rajasthan Royals, MI’s leg-spinner Piyush Chawla believes the crowd’s reaction towards Pandya will change for the better once the team post its first win. “You can’t really help [the crowd reaction] because whatever they’re doing is beyond our control. You get used to it [outside noise]. We just have to focus on our game and whatever the crowd is doing, let them do,” Chawla said at the match-eve press conference on Sunday.


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Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla


‘It’s about the team’

When asked how Pandya has taken to the crowd booing him, Chawla replied: “Hardik is focussing on the game and is not worried about what the crowd is doing. Once we start winning, get one win under our belt, things will be totally different. At the end of the day, it’s about the team, not about an individual. I’m really hoping all the loyal Mumbai Indians fans will come and support us [at the Wankhede],” added Chawla.

‘Just focus on the job’

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals left-arm pacer Trent Boult also threw his weight behind Pandya. “Being booed and trolled by the crowd is something you cannot control. As professional sports people, [this is] what you are exposed to and you have to black out the white noise and focus on the job. There are a lot of passionate sporting fans in this country. Hardik is one of my favourite Indian cricketers. I don’t think the trolling will go around for too long. I’m sure he is one of the guys who puts it aside and focuses on his job,” said the New Zealander.

Boult, though, isn’t expecting too many RR supporters in the Mumbai crowd. “I can’t see that happening [Mumbai crowd supporting Rajasthan]. It’s going to be an exciting game. Mumbai is an amazing place to play cricket. It’s one of my favourite venues in India. I’m sure there will be a big crowd. It is an exciting challenge. It’s always exciting to play the Mumbai Indians and Monday’s game is no different,” he added. 

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