‘All you Mumbai Indians fans..’ AB de Villiers lashes out at Hardik Pandya’s critics after his stellar T20 WC performance

Jul 4, 2024

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Former South African batter AB de Villiers has hailed Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya for his magnificent showing in the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2024 and also further slammed Hardik’s critics.

Hardik Pandya’s stellar performance in the T20 World Cup 2024

Hardik played a crucial role in Team India’s title run, including a game-changing bowling spell in the finale. The 30-year-old’s contributions were instrumental, as he scored 144 runs at an impressive average of 48 and a strike rate of 151.57. Additionally, his prowess with the ball was evident as he picked up 11 wickets at an average of 17.36 and an economy rate of 7.64.

This stellar performance came on the heels of a difficult Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 campaign, where the Mumbai Indians (MI), under his captaincy, finished at the bottom of the table. Despite replacing Rohit Sharma as skipper, Hardik faced criticism and boos from MI fans throughout the tournament.

AB de Villiers’ praise for Hardik’s resilience

Heaping praise on Hardik for his remarkable turnaround from the IPL to the T20 World Cup, De Villiers expressed his admiration on his YouTube channel. He highlighted Hardik’s ability to rise to the occasion and deliver when it mattered the most.

“He made everyone proud out there. Even though I did not want him to succeed like that, I look back and have a lot of respect for that. He is a big man for a big moment and that’s exactly the way he played. To all you Mumbai Indians fans out there who doubted him, I’m pretty sure he has secured a spot in your hearts for the future,” De Villiers said.

Hardik’s stellar showing was further recognized when he ascended to the position of the world’s No.1 T20I all-rounder in the latest ICC rankings.

Also READ: Fans lavish praise on Hardik Pandya as he becomes No. 1 all-rounder in ICC T20I Rankings

The defining moments of the final

In the crucial final match, with the game slipping away from India as South Africa needed only 26 off 24 deliveries, Hardik showcased his champion spirit. He removed the well-set Heinrich Klaasen for 52 off 27, turning the tide in India’s favor. Hardik followed this with a sensational final over, removing key player like David Miller while defending 16 runs, ultimately helping India clinch the victory by seven runs.

De Villiers reflected on these pivotal moments, stating, “What stands out for me are the big moments. A guy like Hardik Pandya who’s been through a roller-coaster himself with Mumbai Indians – moving from Gujarat to Mumbai – and all the criticism he coped with, getting the ball from the captain in the final of the T20 World Cup. That was his moment to go like, ‘You know what… all Indian fans out there, this is what I am about as a cricket player,”

Hardik finished the final with outstanding figures of 3/20 in three overs, including the crucial 17th and 20th overs, sealing the deal for India.

Also READ: Lesser-known facts about Hardik Pandya’s wife Natasa stankovic

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

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