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Watch: Hardik Pandya Walks Away As Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah Continue Discussion. Internet Reacts

After any loss, it’s a tough time for any team. The same is the case with Mumbai Indians, who began their journey under new skipper Hardik Pandya on a losing note. The five-time champions went down to Gujarat Titans on Sunday, which was Pandya’s former franchise. Since the time he was made skipper in place of Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya has been under intense scrutiny. He himself must have felt the eyeballs following him a little bit more than in earlier years.

After Mumbai Indians’ loss to Gujarat Titans, the internet has been on overdrive. A video has gone viral on social media, which shows Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah discussing something. After Pandya walks away, Rohit and Bumrah continue chatting. This has led to intense speculation.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians’ batting coach Kieron Pollard backed Hardik Pandya’s move to open the bowling instead of Jasprit Bumrah and also said the skipper batting at number seven in their IPL opener against Gujarat Titans was a “collective decision”.

An inexplicable batting strategy saw MI lose their opener by six runs here on Sunday after they looked on course for victory.

Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bowl first and surprisingly, Hardik opened the bowling against his former side.

“You have to plan and decide what you want to do as a team. Hardik (Pandya) has also bowled with the new ball for Gujarat over the last couple of years. He swung the new ball and bowled it well, which was nothing new to us.

“We tried to use the advantage of the new ball swinging along. When I look at the decision made, there is nothing wrong with it, and we move on,” Pollard said at the post-match press conference.

When the discussion turned to the logic behind Hardik coming in to bat at number seven Pollard said one can’t attribute the decision to the skipper.

“No decision is made on full autonomy, so we can’t say it is his decision. As a team, we have plans; we talk about setting entry points for batters. The top order batted deep into the game, and we also had two power hitters to go in the back end.

“Usually, if you look at it over time, Tim (David) has finished games for us, and Hardik has done it over the years.

“So, at any point, any one of them can resurrect the situation. It didn’t happen tonight, so there will likely be a chat about who should have gone earlier.

“But all of those things are in hindsight, and as a team, we make decisions, so let’s put a stop to ‘Hardik made a decision, Hardik did this, Hardik did that’. We are a team. We make decisions collectively as one,” the West Indian said.

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