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RR vs MI: Captaincy testament for Hardik Pandya amid Mumbai Indians’ diminishing IPL 2024 playoffs hope

RR vs MI: Captaincy testament for Hardik Pandya amid Mumbai Indians’ diminishing IPL 2024 playoffs hope

Hardik Pandya who has won IPL with Gujarat Titans, was appointed as the Mumbai Indians' captain ahead of IPL 2024

Hardik Pandya gears up for yet another test as Rajasthan Royals host Mumbai Indians at Wankhede. Hardik Pandya’s return to the Mumbai Indians has not been on the best note during the initial phase IPL 2024. Ever since his return as the new MI captain, Hardik has faced relentless boos from the crowds and been a target of criticism on social media.

Hardik Pandya’s mental struggle transcends onto on-field performances

This pressure and the constant heckling has taken its toll on his performance, as Hardik has struggled to make an impact with both bat and ball. Mumbai Indians, under his leadership, have managed only three victories in their first seven matches, leaving them in seventh place.

Hardik has scored just 141 runs in seven games, with an average of 23.5 and no half-centuries to his credit. His bowling has also been a concern, as he has picked up only four wickets, with a high economy of 11. Adding more concern is his surprising decision of not bowling in 2 matches.

The all-rounder will be up for yet another test for his captaincy as MI take on RR having lost the reverse fixture by six wickets at Wankhede.

Why is a win in RR vs MI absolutely necessary for Mumbai Indians?

The Mumbai Indians face a crucial challenge against RR, desperately needing a win to keep their season hopes alive. Currently sitting in the lower half of the points table with three wins and four losses in their first seven games, MI have struggled to find their rhythm from the start of the tournament.

A victory today would be a relief for captain Hardik Pandya and the entire Mumbai camp, easing the mounting pressure. The team’s inconsistency has been troubling, with Jasprit Bumrah being the sole player to consistently deliver standout performances. His relentless bowling has been a bright spot in an otherwise challenging season. The rest of the team, however, has failed to step up and provide the support needed to drive the team to victory, a very uncharacteristic change from Mumbai’s usual strong form.

As it stands, each game becomes increasingly vital for the Mumbai Indians, as their chances of reaching the playoffs diminish with every loss. The match against Rajasthan Royals is their opportunity to turn things around and stay alive in the playoff race.

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How can Mumbai Indians qualify for the IPL 2024 Playoffs?

Mumbai Indians find themselves in a precarious position as they prepare to face the Rajasthan Royals. With just seven games left in the season, MI need to secure at least five wins to have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. A victory against RR would boost them to eight points, bringing them within striking distance of the fourth-place team.

RR vs MI: Crucial test for captain Hardik Pandya amid Mumbai Indians' diminishing IPL 2024 playoffs hope with string of poor performance

However, a loss would make the playoff equation much more challenging. That will require MI to win five of their remaining six games – a tall order that would increase the psychological pressure on Hardik Pandya and his squad.

Despite these challenges, MI have shown in the past that they can build momentum quickly, stringing together wins when it counts. They have three critical home games at the backend of the league stage against KKR, SRH, and LSG, offering them a chance to leverage their home-ground advantage. To make the playoffs, Mumbai Indians need to rediscover their winning formula and put forth consistent performances in the upcoming matches.

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