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IPL 2024: Once we get one win under our belt, things will be totally different, says Piyush Chawla


Two defeats in as many outings has plummeted Mumbai Indians to the bottom of the points table in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Adding to its on-field woes, its new captain Hardik Pandya, who took over the reins from Rohit Sharma, received a hostile reception from fans in Ahmedabad last week and the booing continued when the team squared off against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an away fixture.

While several cricketers – including Ravichandran Ashwin – have backed Hardik in the whole episode, Mumbai Indians’ seasoned campaigner Piyush Chawla claims that Hardik isn’t worried about the crowd behaviour ahead of the team’s first home game of IPL 2024, against Rajasthan Royals on Monday.

“Hardik is just focusing on the game. He’s not even worried about what the crowd is doing and once we get one win under our belt, things will be totally different,” Chawla said on the eve of the game.

ALSO READ | IPL 2024 Points Table updated after GT vs SRH: Gujarat Titans enters top-four with win over Sunrisers Hyderabad

Before the tournament got underway, Pandya had said that he would have the backing of Rohit throughout the season and “it won’t feel awkward” to play together. However, with the treatment meted out to Hardik at various grounds this season, Chawla believes that it is important to cut out the noise and focus on the job at hand.

“At the end of the day it is about the team and not about the individuals,” Chawla said. “I am really hoping when the crowd comes in tomorrow they will really support the team, especially after the (tough) start we had. Hopefully, all the loyal MI fans will come and support us…”

While there will be rivalry on the field, Rajasthan Royals’ fast bowling ace Trent Boult also backed Hardik and stated that the booing should stop. “It is something you cannot control, as professional sportspeople it is what you are exposed to in a way. You have to block out the white noise and focus on the job, (but) it is easier said than done,” Boult said.

“There are a lot of passionate fans in this country and speaking of Hardik specifically, he is one of my favourite Indian cricketers and I do not think the booing will hold out for too long. I am sure he is one of those guys who can put it aside and focus on the job…,” he added.

Mumbai Indians will hope so, too.



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