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'People booed him so much, and...': Ex-cricketer praises Hardik

1 month ago 40

 Aakash Chopra praises Hardik Pandya for winning over fans in T20 World Cup

Hardik Pandya, left, celebrates with captain Rohit Sharma the dismissal of Pakistan's Shadab Khan. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: Former India cricketer

Aakash Chopra

has commended

Hardik Pandya

for winning over previously hostile fans with his stellar performance in India's

T20 World Cup

victory against Pakistan in New York.
Pandya faced significant criticism during the IPL 2024 season after assuming the captaincy of Mumbai Indians from

Rohit Sharma

, but he managed to turn the tide with his recent contributions on the international stage.

T20 World Cup Schedule | Points Table
In the T20 World Cup match on Sunday, Pandya struggled with the bat, scoring only seven runs off 12 balls as India set Pakistan a target of 120 runs. However, he made a significant impact with the ball, delivering an impressive spell of 2 for 24 in four overs, which was crucial in India's narrow six-run victory.

Chopra reflected on Pandya's performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, highlighting how the crowd's sentiment shifted during the match.
"Hardik Pandya - people booed him so much, and how life changes. I saw the entire ground shouting 'Hardik, Hardik' and a lot of love for him. Cricket is a great leveler. If you perform well, people who were abusing you will also praise you. They will pray for your success," Chopra remarked.

He further emphasized the unique support Indian cricketers receive from their massive fan base.
"I learned one thing that we Indians are extremely lucky. We have 140 crore people and whoever follows cricket, prays for you, even though they don't know you. This is the biggest blessing. So Hardik Pandya has also turned that around. He has been outstanding," Chopra added.
Pandya's bowling was instrumental in India's defense of their total. He first dismissed the aggressive

Fakhar Zaman

with a bouncer, brilliantly caught by

Rishabh Pant

, and later took the wicket of Shadab Khan in a similar manner.

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