Hardik's ego-driven, chest-out style of leadership doesn't look genuine: De Villiers

An IPL legend himself, De Villiers observed that Pandya's trying to unsuccessfully fake it

Published - May 12, 2024 10:03 am IST - Johannesburg

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya.

Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya. | Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

Hardik Pandya's "ego-driven, chest out" style of captaincy doesn't seem to look genuine and experienced teammates aren't exactly buying his false bravado, feels former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers.

Pandya's first stint as Mumbai Indians skipper replacing the highly successful Rohit Sharma turned into a nightmare as the five-time champion franchise failed to reach the play-offs. Worse, the MI fans didn't like team's decision with Pandya being greeted with boos in every single game.

“The captaincy style of Hardik Pandya is quite bravado. It’s ego-driven in a way, chest out," De Villiers said on his YouTube channel.

An IPL legend himself, De Villiers observed that Pandya's trying to unsuccessfully fake it.

"I don’t think how he walks on the field is always genuine, but he has decided that is his way of captaincy. Almost like MS (Dhoni). Cool, calm, collective, always got your chest out."

Pandya had led a young Gujarat Titans team to back-to-back IPL finals winning the inaugural edition. De Villiers opined that the style which flopped in Mumbai Indians worked in an earlier franchise because the core group was much younger.

"When you play with a lot of experienced players, guys who have been around for ages, they don’t buy into that. It worked at GT, where it was a younger team. Sometimes, inexperienced players love to follow that kind of leadership.”

"We don’t need the bravado"

Giving some captaincy advice to Pandya by remembering his playing days under Graeme Smith, de Villiers stated that the all-rounder needed to get out of his "bravado" or put on confidence mentality.

“I remember Graeme Smith. He was out there for the team. All I needed to do as a youngster was to follow. Now, there’s a Rohit (Sharma), there’s a (Jasprit) Bumrah," he continued.

"They go like, ‘All we need you to be is calm. Give us a bit of input on how to win matches. We don’t need the bravado'." However, the South African also clarified that he was not targeting Pandya and that he loved to watch him play.

"I’m not having a go at Hardik. I love watching him play. I love him putting out his chest because I was like that. I believed that as a batter sometimes, you’ve got to fake it to make it,” he concluded.

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