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‘He’s Been A Really Good Captain…,’ Coetzee Backs Hardik Pandya Despite MI’s Early IPL Exit

Hardik Pandya celebrating a wicket during IPL 2024 (AP)Hardik Pandya celebrating a wicket during IPL 2024 (AP)

Mumbai Indians is set to face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their penultimate league game of the IPL 2024 season on May 11. Under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, the Mumbai Indians have already crashed out of the playoffs race by sustaining eight defeats from their first 11 fixtures.

Pandya was announced as Mumbai Indians captain shortly after the IPL 2024 auction last year, thus replacing decade-long skipper and five-time winner Rohit Sharma in the process. The cricketer’s appointment sparked a widespread outrage among numerous fans of the franchise, who aggressively called for the reinstatement of Sharma for the top post.

Amidst the ongoing leadership turmoil between the two esteemed Mumbai Indians legends, IPL 2024 recruit and South African paceman Gerald Coetzee has praised Pandya’s ‘unique’ captaincy style and for constantly motivating the playing group.

Gerald Coetzee backs Pandya ahead of KKR vs MI

A day prior to Mumbai Indians’ away IPL 2024 clash against KKR, tearaway fast bowler Gerald Coetzee praised captain Hardik Pandya for bringing his own unique leadership style into the team. He said:

“I think, he's been a really good captain. Every captain has a unique style and no captain is the same. He's (Hardik) been really good, he's been really motivational to the guys, he's been really clear with the plans, I think he's an exceptional captain.”

The South African speedster also described the mindset of the team amidst their IPL 2024 struggles, claiming that the mood in the dressing room has been “really good” throughout the season. He added:

“I think the mood in the dressing room has been really good. We've done our best every game, we've prepared well. We've made some mistakes and sometimes we've been outplayed. We've got strong leaders, we've got really good players. I think there's not much to look into that. I think it's been a good mood consistently, right throughout.”

With just four wins from 12 fixtures, Hardik Pandya-led Mumbai Indians is placed at number eight on the IPL 2024 points table. They will now face KKR on May 11 at the Eden Gardens.