IPL 2024: AB de Villiers issues clarification on his ‘ego-driven captaincy’ comment for MI skipper Hardik Pandya

May 14, 2024

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Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has issued a strong clarification regarding his recent comments about Hardik Pandya‘s captaincy of the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. De Villiers expressed his frustration over the media’s misrepresentation of his remarks and emphasized his genuine admiration for Pandya’s leadership style.

Initial remarks on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy

De Villiers initially commented that Pandya’s ‘ego-driven’ captaincy might not be the best approach for the Mumbai this season, though it had worked well for the younger squad of the Gujarat Titans (GT). He highlighted the potential challenges of such a leadership style for a team with seasoned players like MI.

De Villiers issues clarification

In response to the ensuing backlash, De Villiers took to his YouTube show to set the record straight. He emphasized that his comments were not intended as criticism but as an observation.

“I see there is a lot of activity on X about the comments I made about Hardik Pandya and Mumbai Indians. And it’s a shame that journalism and reporting has got so low (laughs). And I am very happy that some of you have pointed it out, taking some of those comments out and leaving the rest. I very clearly stated and I will state this again — I absolutely love the way Hardik Pandya plays his game. I love the way he captains,” said De Villiers in his YouTube show.

Also READ: South African legend AB de Villiers pens a heartful note for retiring James Anderson

Understanding ‘ego-driven’ leadership

Explaining his use of the term ‘not genuine,’ De Villiers reflected on his own career, describing how he too adopted a more intense persona on the field.

“All I can say is, his style of captaincy is something that he has certainly worked on. It’s not something that you can just walk out of the door and you are a brave captain. Why I said it’s always not genuine is because I played exactly the same way. I was not the soft-spoken, genuine AB de Villiers that I was at my home. The guy you saw on the field was in a way ‘an act’,” added De Villiers.

The former South African captain also acknowledged that while such a style (captaincy of Hardik Pandya) can be effective, it may be challenging for some senior players.

“Sometimes, you have to put up a front and show the opposition that you are a force to reckon with. That’s what Hardik Pandya does. I am saying that style is not always the easiest style to adapt to, especially for some senior players. I love Hardik Pandya, that’s what I said. To you reporters out there, I am sorry to burst your bubble,” the South African added further.

Also READ: IPL 2024 – Mumbai Indians head coach Kieron Pollard addresses calls to rest Jasprit Bumrah ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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