“People booed him so much, and how life changes,” Aakash Chopra on Hardik Pandya’s comeback

Hardik Pandya

In the world of cricket, fortunes can change rapidly. This was evident in the case of Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who faced a significant shift in public sentiment during the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Pandya had been subjected to widespread booing during the IPL 2024 season after he took over the Mumbai Indians’ captaincy from Rohit Sharma. However, his performance in India’s T20 World Cup victory against Pakistan marked a turning point.

Despite struggling with the bat and scoring only seven runs off 12 balls, Pandya made a significant impact with the ball. He delivered an impressive spell of 2 for 24 in four overs, which was crucial in India’s narrow six-run victory.

Hardik Pandya turns boos into blessings

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra, speaking on his YouTube channel reflected on Pandya’s performance and the shift in crowd sentiment. He said, “Hardik Pandya – people booed him so much, and how life changes. I saw the entire ground shouting ‘Hardik, Hardik’ and a lot of love for him. Cricket is a great leveller. If you perform well, people who were abusing you will also praise you. They will pray for your success.”

Chopra further emphasized the unique support Indian cricketers receive from their massive fan base. He added, “I learned one thing that we Indians are extremely lucky. We have 140 crore people and whoever follows cricket, prays for you, even though they don’t know you. This is the biggest blessing. So Hardik Pandya has also turned that around. He has been outstanding.”

Pandya’s bowling was instrumental in India’s defence of their total. He first dismissed the aggressive Fakhar Zaman with a bouncer, brilliantly caught by Rishabh Pant, and later took the wicket of Shadab Khan in a similar manner.

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