“One of my favourite Indian cricketers…”: RR’s Trent Boult on MI skipper Hardik Pandya – World News Network

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 1 (ANI): Ahead of his side’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Mumbai Indians (MI), Rajasthan Royals (RR) speedster Trent Boult has backed MI skipper Hardik Panda to perform well and block out all the outside noise surrounding his controversial move as a captain from Gujarat Titans (GT) to the franchise that made him a household name.
MI and RR would be taking on each other in the five-time champions’ first home clash at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. This will be Pandya’s first game at Wankhede since his controversial move to MI as a captain, replacing the five-time IPL winner Rohit Sharma. There has been a massive fan war going on between fans of both star players, with Rohit fans accusing the franchise and Hardik of betraying and mistreating the skipper, who clinched the side five IPL titles and shaped careers of many stars, including the all-rounder, in his stint as a captain of Blue and Gold franchise.
Hardik has been subjected to not only plenty of online trolling and abuse, but also faced booing at stadiums during matches.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Boult said that Hardik is one of his favourite Indian players and he can shut down all the outside noise and perform really well.
“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. 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,” said Boult.
Hardik will have to put in some match-winning performances to win back the support of the people. So far, he has scored 35 runs in two innings and taken a wicket in this tournament. His sluggish 24 in 20 balls cost MI a chance at chasing down Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)’s mammoth target of 278 recently.
The New Zealand fast bowler praised Riyan Parag, recalling his first encounter with the youngster.
“The first experience I had with him (Parag) was (at) a warm-up game here in the bubble when the IPL was based in Mumbai, a couple of years ago. He got 85 off probably 30 balls and I just thought he was the most amazing player,” Boult recalled.
So far in two matches, Parag has played explosive and match-winning knocks of 43 and 84*. He has been batting at number four after years of playing down the order as a finisher, a role in which he underperformed.
“Obviously, everyone is very happy to see him have some success early in the tournament this year. He has always been pinned as an exciting player to watch, so of course, it is always very satisfying to see a guy go out and his game come off. One hundred per cent he’s got a huge role to play for us in this tournament,” Boult added.
Boult was also appreciative of his powerplay partner-in-pace, South African pacer Nandre Burger, who has taken three wickets in two matches so far. In the previous match, he took 2/29 against Delhi Capitals.
“Nandre is a guy that I have only just met, but bowls with good pace, good skills and comes from South Africa where conditions are very different,” Boult said.
Rajasthan Royals Squad: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson(w/c), Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sandeep Sharma, Avesh Khan, Nandre Burger, Navdeep Saini, Keshav Maharaj, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Rovman Powell, Tanush Kotian, Kuldeep Sen, Donovan Ferreira, Abid Mushtaq, Shubham Dubey, Kunal Singh Rathore
Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan(w), Naman Dhir, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya(c), Tim David, Romario Shepherd, Shams Mulani, Gerald Coetzee, Piyush Chawla, Jasprit Bumrah, Kwena Maphaka, Mohammad Nabi, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Gopal, Luke Wood, Vishnu Vinod, Arjun Tendulkar, Nehal Wadhera, Kumar Kartikeya, Shivalik Sharma, Anshul Kamboj, Akash Madhwal, Nuwan Thushara, Dewald Brevis. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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