Hardik Pandya’s Captaincy ‘Ordinary To Say The Least’: Irfan Pathan, Shreds Star’s Poor Batting After SRH Smashed 277

Under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, against SunRisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians conceded 277 runs in 20 overs

The extraordinary capitulation of Mumbai Indians, under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, against SunRisers Hyderabad on Wednesday will be remembered for a long time. The SRH came out all guns blazing to smash 277/3 in 20 overs – the highest ever score in the IPL’s 17-year history – as MI bowlers looked absolute clueless. Though MI batters tried to put up a fight, it was not enough to surpass such a huge total. For Hardik Pandya, who took over MI’s captaincy from Rohit Sharma, this was the second successive loss.

Hardik Pandya’s captaincy has been questioned by former Indian cricket team star Irfan Pathan. Despite Jasprit Bumrah being in their ranks, Pandya brought in the star bowler late. That decision irked Pathan.

“The captaincy of Hardik Pandya has been ordinary to say the least. Keeping Bumrah away for too long when the carnage was on was beyond my understanding,” Pathan wrote on X.

“Who would have thought a record score of IPL would be against MI. Crazy hitting from SRH. #SRHvMI,” he wrote in another post.

Pathan also took a dig at Pandya’s batting. While chasing, MI managed 246/5 in 20 overs. Pandya scored 24 off 20 balls. “If the whole team is playing with the strike of 200, Captain can’t bat with the batting strike rate of 120,” he wrote.

Talking about the match, records tumbled left-right and centre as Sunrisers Hyderabad smashed 277 for three, the highest total in IPL history, to leave Mumbai Indians shell shocked on Wednesday. Travis Head (62 off 24) and Abhishek Sharma (63 off 23) came up with a sensational display of power-hitting, that saw the latter snatching the franchise record for fastest fifty from the Australian within minutes.

Heinrich Klaasen (80 not out off 34 balls) provided the fireworks in the end to help SRH break an 11-year-old record. The previous highest total in IPL was 263 for five achieved by Royal Challengers Bangalore back in 2013.

It was raining fours and sixes throughout the innings as Head and Sharma toyed with the Mumbai Indians attack.

Head, who was surprisingly left out of the playing eleven for the opening game, reinforced his status as one of the most dangerous batters in the game with a whirlwind effort.

He broke David Warner’s record of the fastest fifty by a SRH batter with a 18-ball half-century before Sharma surpassed Head’s feat 20 balls later by reaching the milestone in 16 balls.

Head, who was dropped by compatriot Tim David at the start of his innings, opened his front leg and hit boundaries at will, collecting nine fours and three sixes in total.

The southpaw completed his fifty with an inside out four wide of mid-off before dispatching a bouncer from Gerald Coetzee for a six over deep midwicket, prompting opposition skipper Hardik Pandya to acknowledge the Australian’s brutal assault.

When Head departed, Sharma went hammer and tongs, mostly targeting the cow corner region for his seven sixes and three boundaries.

It was a nightmarish start to the IPL for the 17-year-old South Africa pacer Kwena Maphaka, who made the Mumbai Indians squad at the back of his exploits in the U-19 World Cup.

He leaked as many as 66 runs in his four overs. The left-arm pacer could not recover from Head’s onslaught in his second over in which he conceded 22 runs.

With the majority of the Mumbai bowlers taken to the cleaners, it was surprising that Mumbai Indians skipper Pandya waited till the 13th over to give Jasprit Bumrah his second over.

Following Sharma’s dismissal, the in-form Klaasen ensured there was no stopping to the SRH’s six hitting spree. Klaasen ended up with seven sixes with the maximum off a Bumrah bouncer standing out.

Klaasen had almost taken SRH over the line with his breathtaking knock against KKR at the Eden Gardens.

Former skipper Aiden Markram chipped in 42 off 28 balls.

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