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‘No one outside knows…’: Once labeled a ‘cheater’, this great Australian has a direct message for Hardik Pandya | Cricket News

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Australia’s star batter Steve Smith has advised Hardik Pandya to just “block out” the constant jeers and jeers the new Mumbai Indians skipper is receiving so far from IPL spectators as they are “all out of context”. Hardik, who replaced five-time IPL-winning captain Rohit Sharma as skipper this season, had a dismal start to his captaincy tenure as MI suffered back-to-back defeats.

In addition to the two defeats, the former Gujarat Titans skipper was booed by fans in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad – the venue for MI’s first two matches – as they were clearly unhappy with the manner in which Rohit had been dismissed from his post as captain.

“I would just try to say, to block him out, none of that matters,” said Smith, who faced abuse from fans around the world for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018, at ESPNcricinfo.

“No one outside knows what you’re going through. No one (from outside) is in that locker room.” Smith, who was called a ‘cheater’ by fans during the 2019 ODI World Cup in England, believes all this abuse will come as a big surprise to Hardik as he receives it from his Indian fans at home.

“Personally, for me, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t care. I don’t pay any attention to it,” said Smith, who had to resign as Rajasthan Royals captain in 2018 after the scandal. ball tampering.

“You know, it’s just white noise, but players definitely hear things and everyone is entitled to their own emotions and how they respond to them.

“So, is this affecting him (Hardik)? Maybe. It’s possible. He’s probably never experienced this before, in any walk of life.

“So it’s natural, I suppose, and especially being in India and being a star Indian player, to be in that position where some fans are booing you, it’s definitely something he wouldn’t have experienced.”

Hardik had led Gujarat Titans to IPL title triumph in their debut season in 2022 after being released by Mumbai Indians.

However, last November, he returned to Mumbai Indians via a cash swap and was soon made the captain, replacing Rohit, which did not go down well with the Indian captain’s fans.

“Hardik is in the middle of a tough time, losing the first two matches of his IPL season. It’s a big deal for him,” said Smith, who had replaced MS Dhoni as captain of the defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017.

“He fills big shoes with Rohit Sharma, who has been the most successful captain (along with Dhoni) in IPL history, winning five titles, and it hasn’t started well for him.”

MI will face Rajasthan Royals on April 1 at home and Smith is waiting to know how Hardik is received by the home fans at the Wankhade Stadium.

“So he’s under a bit of pressure at the moment and it will be interesting to see what the reception is like in their first home game at Wankhede in a few days’ time.

“We heard a few boos on the field, which… that was disappointing on my part. But I’m intrigued to see what the reception is like in Mumbai. We know what a star Rohit is and how big he is loved. inside this stadium.”

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