Hardik Pandya chants fill up Wankhede stadium not long after IPL hostility, redemption complete for India all-rounder

Hardik Pandya has become the apple of Mumbai's eyes not long after he was booed out of the Wankhede Stadium while captaining Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
Hardik Pandya chants fill up Wankhede stadium not long after IPL hostility, redemption complete for India all-rounder
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Until a couple of months ago, it was tough being Hardik Pandya. The all-rounder, captaining the Mumbai Indians, was undergoing a torrid time, getting booed by fans wherever he went, including the Wankhede Stadium. Hardik was the most infamous individual in the franchise among fans, and with every defeat, his shoulders dropped even further. Things only went from bad to worse as Hardik's own form dipped, and the franchise eventually failed to reach the IPL 2024 Playoffs. He was viewed as the villain of MI, and truth be told, the road ahead looked arduous.

But just how fast the night changed. A month after seeing the worst, Hardik rose from the ashes and emerged world champion as India were crowned the T20 World Cup champions. Hardik was pivotal in India's 2nd T20 world title, picking up 11 wickets and scoring 114 runs and shortly after, became the first Indian to reach the pinnacle of ICC T20I rankings for all-rounders.

Fittingly enough, as fortunes have changed, Hardik has become the toast of the nation and, more importantly, the apple of Mumbai's eyes as the Wankhede Stadium – the same venue where there was no shortage of anti-Hardik slogans – filled up with 'Hardik-Hardik' chants ahead of the Indian team's arrival. The rains in Mumbai attempted to spoil the occasion, but the magnanimity of it was such that it couldn't stop the fans of Mumbai from turning up in numbers. The iconic Marine Drive turned into a sea of blue as fans flocked roads in numbers to catch a glimpse of their favourite cricketers. No, scratch that – their favourite heroes.

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Hardik Pandya chants fill up Wankhede stadium not long after IPL hostility, redemption complete for India all-rounder

The entire city and possibly the nation have come unglued to witness Team India's celebration of their World Cup glory. The already decorated bus is on its way to the airport, where it will pick up players and then arrive at Nariman Point for a drive to the Wankhede Stadium. Rest assured, Hardik, whose eyes were already filled with tears after bowling the all-important final over, will likely be moist again when it happens.

Source : India Today

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