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"Told Crowd To Behave Because...": Sanjay Manjrekar On Hardik Pandya IPL Booing

When Sanjay Manjrekar schooled the Wankhede crowd to “behave” after they booed the newly-appointed Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya, all he wanted the public to realise that their boorish behaviour targeting a “big stage player”, was unfair. Pandya was jeered at every venue after he was handed captaincy by MI, signalling a controversial end to the successful and popular Rohit Sharma's tenure at the helm. The whole episode had a deep-level impact on Pandya.

Manjrekar, while conducting the toss at the Wankhede during a home match of MI, did interject but it only led to a meme-fest by the insensitive social media trolls.

Pandya played a major part in India's second T20 World Cup trophy with 144 runs and 11 wickets, and Manjrekar now stands vindicated.

“What a turnaround for Hardik Pandya. In IPL, there were people jeering him and booing him and I told them to behave because this is a big-stage player,” Manjrekar told 'ESPNCricinfo'.

The former India player and noted pundit always knew that Pandya would hold his nerve in pressure situations as he brought his team back in the game with the wicket of the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen and then closed out the game with a mindblowing final over.

“We have seen that umpteen times, wickets of Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and right at the end, Rabada, so he was a champion and no surprise, to see him flourish on the big stage,” Manjrekar said.

Manjrekar reminded Indian fans that even in their humiliating defeat against England in Adelaide, back in the 2022 edition, the colourful Baroda man was a face-saver and a calm presence under pressure.

“Even in that semifinal against England, he came in and gave India some hope with 60 off 33. So that's what he is all about.

“You felt safe