Matthew Hayden. Photo- Twitter
Matthew Hayden. Photo- Twitter

Rahul Dravid mustn’t bring up the uneasiness between Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma, the vice-captain and captain of the Indian team, said Matthew Hayden, as the Men in Blue prep for their first match of the T20 World Cup 2024.

Speculation circulated during the Mumbai Indians’ disastrous performance in the IPL 2024 that all was not well with captain Hardik Pandya and his predecessor Rohit Sharma.

According to reports, it even caused divisions within the MI team, which finished last in the table for the second time in three seasons.

With Hardik and Rohit currently in the Indian camp as vice-captains and captains for the T20 World Cup tournament, head coach Rahul Dravid will face a difficult task in bringing the two together while avoiding an MI-like situation in the Indian dressing room.

Don’t even talk about it: Matthew Hayden’s advice to Rahul Dravid on Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya

However, Australia legend Matthew Hayden believes Dravid does not need to bring up the subject because the focus has shifted from the IPL to the World Cup, where India will be looking to end their long-standing ICC trophy drought and will need their two best and senior players to join forces in the cause.

“Without one word, you know who the leader is. Nothing has to be spoken. You look at each other, you understand what needs to happen and you go about it. It’s music to my ears what Irfan just said, about how it is that you are not going to address it. Don’t even talk about it,” Hayden told ESPNCricinfo.

Irfan Pathan, who also attended the session, believes that Dravid should avoid bringing up the IPL matter and instead focus on instilling confidence in Hardik about his value in the Indian lineup.

“I will not even discuss this. Whatever happened has happened. I will just say that this is my expectation from you: I want you to win matches for India. This is the roadmap, and you are an important part of the team and a match-winner.

“Being an all-rounder, I will say he will play a crucial role. How many fast bowlers have we taken? Just three specialist bowlers, besides Hardik and Shivam Dube. So, when the time comes, these 3-4 overs will become very crucial.

“Remember, he will allow us to play an extra spinner in the West Indies when we play day games. So this is where he comes into the picture, he needs to feel good and believe that he can contribute and hence the conversation of the IPL should not be even happening even once,” Pathan said.

India will begin their World Cup campaign on June 5 against Ireland in New York.

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