IPL 2024:'It Was Quite Difficult. We Did Not Play Good Quality Cricket..' Pandya After Mumbai Indians Finish Last

“We didn’t play well enough collectively and couldn’t come together as much as we wanted to. Today was the kind of game we wanted to play more often, where both bowlers and batters contribute,” he added.

A dejected Hardik Pandya admitted that the subpar cricket played by the Mumbai Indians (MI) was the primary reason for their disappointing 2024 IPL season, which culminated in a second last-place finish in three years. The five-time champions also ended up last in the 2022 season.

Pandya’s return to the MI setup was highly anticipated, but the team managed to secure only four victories out of 14 games under his leadership. Reflecting on the season, Pandya acknowledged that their performance was far below expectations, ultimately preventing them from making a significant impact in the tournament.

“It was quite difficult. We did not play good quality cricket, and it eventually cost us the whole season,” Pandya remarked after MI’s 18-run loss to Lucknow Super Giants in Mumbai. “It’s a professional world. We have to always come out and put our best foot forward. But yes, as a group, we could not play quality cricket or smart cricket.”

As the dust settles, Pandya will likely analyze what went wrong throughout the season. “It’s too early to point out what went wrong. The whole season kind of went wrong. We can pass this game as another one that went wrong.”

LSG skipper KL Rahul, whose team also finished outside the playoff zone, shared his disappointment. “Very disappointing. At the start of the season, I felt we had a very strong team and most bases covered. A couple of injuries happened, but the guys who stepped in didn’t quite deliver,” Rahul commented, alluding to the absence of fast bowler Mayank Yadav.

“We didn’t play well enough collectively and couldn’t come together as much as we wanted to. Today was the kind of game we wanted to play more often, where both bowlers and batters contribute,” he added.

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Rahul, who is not part of the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup, was non-committal on whether he would bat in the middle order in the future. “Maybe, maybe not. There’s not much T20 cricket coming up for me now,” he said when asked about his batting position. “It depends on where I stand and what I need to do to get back in the team. I’ll think about what the team needs,” he concluded.

As the season ends, both MI and LSG will need to reassess and strategize for future success, ensuring that the lessons learned from this year’s disappointments pave the way for better performances in the next IPL season.