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IPL 2024: MI's Ishan Kishan says Hardik Pandya loves challenges, believes fans will start loving him soon

Taking over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma for IPL 2024, Mumbai Indians' Hardik Pandya has frequently encountered booing from spectators inside the stadium. This trend continued on Thursday night as MI took on Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Wankhede Stadium.

IPL 2024: MI's Ishan Kishan says Hardik Pandya loves challenges, believes fans will start loving him soon snt
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First Published Apr 12, 2024, 12:24 PM IST

Despite facing criticism from fans during this IPL season, Ishan Kishan remains confident that Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya is embracing the challenge of winning them over.

Taking over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma for IPL 2024, Pandya has frequently encountered booing from spectators inside the stadium. This trend continued on Thursday night as MI took on Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Wankhede Stadium.

Also read: IPL 2024: Ishan, SKY fire MI to 7-wicket win over RCB; Kohli hugs Hardik, Siraj bows to Bumrah (WATCH)

However, amidst the mixed reception, Pandya found a pocket of supporters at the stadium, who were encouraged by none other than star batsman Virat Kohli.

“He (Pandya) loves challenges, he has been in this situation before and he is in that situation right now. He is not someone who will come out and talk about it and say let’s stop this or that,” Kishan told the media here after MI defeated RCB by seven wickets.

“I know that he must be enjoying it. I know him personally. I have spent a lot of time with him. He is ready for the challenges because you cannot complain to the fans, they will come up with their explanations and their point of views,” Kishan added.

Kishan expressed confidence that the 29-year-old all-rounder could channel all the negativity into positive energy through his performances.

“But knowing how Hardik Pandya thinks, he is happy with people doing it but I know that in the coming games he will do it with the bat and people will start loving him (again),” he said.

Kishan emphasized the Indian fans' inclination to appreciate the hard work of a cricketer, regardless of their personal sentiments towards him.

“People also recognize your hard work, what you are going through and still you are doing so well for your team. I think people do recognize that. Our fans will be a little harsh on you but at the same time when you do well, or when you show that it is (still) not bothering you and (that) you are in a very good headspace, that might change. If not today, tomorrow. If not tomorrow, day after tomorrow," he said.

“I feel happy about him that even in this situation he is so keen on performing, hitting six on the very first ball knowing that things can go different way and people will question you again. But that is something which Hardik has in himself and other players don’t,” Kishan noted.

Also read: IPL 2024, MI vs RCB: Fans at Wankhede chant 'Kohli ko bowling do', Virat's reaction goes viral (WATCH)

Jasprit Bumrah showcased his mastery, delivering an impressive performance with figures of 4-0-21-5 against RCB. However, the remaining MI bowlers struggled with their line and length. Despite this, Kishan expressed his confidence in their ability to bounce back and perform well in upcoming matches.

“We will get through that because planning is always there, we keep talking to our coaches, our captain, our video analyst,” he said.

“The wicket was very good (for batters). When the wicket is so good, we cannot complain about our bowlers, who were also good, but (then) we finished the game in the 16th over. We have to look at the positives that the bowlers did a great job in restricting RCB below 200,” he added.

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