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Could Have Been Handled Better With Clear Communication: Ravi Shastri On Hardik Pandya Captaincy Row

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New Delhi, Apr 3 (PTI) Former India coach Ravi Shastri feels the fan backlash towards Hardik Pandya could have been avoided had Mumbai Indians shown “clarity in communication” while announcing him as captain.

Shastri also advised Pandya to stay calm and weather the storm with solid performances.
“This is not the Indian cricket team that’s playing. This is franchise cricket. They have paid top dollar. They are the bosses. It’s their entitlement as to who they want as captain. Okay, where I think this could have been handled better was with more clarity in communication,” Shastri said told Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Live Show’.

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“If you wanted Hardik Pandya as captain, then say that we are looking at the future. We are looking to build. Rohit has done a fabulous job, as everyone knows, and we want him to help out Hardik in these next three years as the team progresses.

“That communication, that clarity should have come out a little more for all this to die down. So it’s not a case of you saying, ‘No, we don’t want Rohit Sharma,’ or ‘He was treated badly,’ and all the things that are coming out in social media,” he added.

Shastri expects the tide to turn once Mumbai Indians start winning. The team is currently on a three-match losing streak.
“So, my advice to Hardik would be to be calm, patient, ignore, and just focus on your game. Get a couple of performances going. Mumbai Indians is a terrific side. If they get on a roll, they win three or four matches on the trot, everything will subside,” he said.

“At the end of the day, nothing beats results. You win matches, and things will change. There’s a lot of bull crap out there as well. You know, and some of the stories are just planted. A lot of it is just planted on other people’s names, including my name,” he added.
Former Australia batter Matthew Hayden also felt that fans’ affection for Rohit is understandable given his 11-year tenure as MI captain.

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“See the fans are the biggest stakeholders in this and they often don’t have the politics, the insights, but they want to understand this, they love Rohit Sharma. There’s going to be no getting around that.
“So potentially how it could have been handled little bit differently is to ensure that Rohit is on board with it…,” he said.

Hayden said its is not fair to judge Pandya based on just three matches.
“…there are some concerns in and around Hardik’s leadership but I think it’s grossly unfair to look at the start of the season which is notoriously slow for the Mumbai Indians, and judge one of the iconic cricketers in India and will be for a long time to come as well, subject to his own fitness which is always vulnerable being an all-rounder as he is.

“But it’s grossly unfair to misjudge his performances so far, and the team’s performances and then speculate around what is and what isn’t happening inside that changing room which we don’t know,” he observed.

MI will next play on April 7 against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede stadium.

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