Hardik Pandya and Gautam Gambhir. Photo- IPL
Hardik Pandya and Gautam Gambhir. Photo- IPL

Hardik Pandya will do well in the T20 World Cup 2024 for the Indian team, claimed Gautam Gambhir in a recent interview. The Mumbai Indians (MI) captain has come under scrutiny after a spate of disappointing performances this season.

The former Team India opener lashed out at Hardik’s detractors, claiming that it’s very simple to criticize a player’s performance while sitting in an air-conditioned room. According to Gambhir, Hardik only needs one strong performance to come back.

Gambhir also pointed out how Hardik will be able to play with a lot of freedom at the 2024 T20 World, given that there won’t be the added pressure of captaincy.

“T20 is a format where if you score 25 off 10 or take two back-to-back wickets, everything comes back. Plus, there will be no pressure of captaincy on Hardik Pandya at the T20 World Cup. So, he can be even more free. It is very easy to say sitting in an AC room that he hasn’t performed well,” he said on Sportskeeda.

Gambhir suggested that Hardik would have still faced criticism even if he had scored 500 runs in IPL 2024

“There are a lot of factors involved in a player performing well. There is the pressure of captaincy and the team’s performance. Even if he had scored 500 runs, he would have still been criticised for MI’s position in the points table,” he added.

Mumbai Indians, led by Hardik Pandya, were the first team to be eliminated from the IPL 2024 playoff race. Hardik has also been criticized for his poor form. The talismanic all-rounder has scored just 200 runs in 12 games and taken 11 wickets in as many innings at an economy rate of 10.58.

Gautam Gambhir backs Hardik Pandya to do well in T20 World Cup 2024

Gautam Gambhir voiced trust in Hardik Pandya’s ability and predicted a huge effect at the 2024 T20 World Cup. He did, however, say that Hardik will be under a lot of pressure because to the importance of the World Cup in a cricketer’s career.

“I think as a professional sportsman, when you go to play international cricket, there is always going to be pressure, especially in World Cups. Very few players get the opportunity to play a World Cup for their country. The kind of player Hardik Pandya is, there’s no doubt that he could do well. Ups and downs are part and parcel of the game,” Gambhir remarked.

Gambhir emphasized that no player can succeed every single time he steps on the field.

“There is no player in the world whose performances have been at the same level every time. If there was a player like that, he would be averaging 100, and not 40 or 50. If you’re averaging 40, it means that if you’ve gotten 10 opportunities, you’ve failed in six. Hardik Pandya has the capability and mental strength.

“One good performance can completely turn things around for him, which is very important for Indian cricket as well because he is a very important member of the Indian cricket team. He’s got that X-factor, be it batting, bowling, or fielding. You cannot predict his performances at the World Cup based on what has happened in the IPL,” Gambhir signed off.

Hardik Pandya will be in action when MI take on LSG in their final IPL 2024 league game on Friday, May 17.

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