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Pollard has backed Hardik to regain his touch with the bat.

Pollard has backed Hardik to regain his touch with the bat. © Sportzpics

It’s not been a dream start at Mumbai Indians for Hardik Pandya; in fact, it’s not even been close. Even if you look past the boos from the crowds home and away, the points table doesn’t make for a pretty picture either. Mumbai Indians are languishing third from bottom, with only two wins from six games.

Even Hardik the batter seems to have lost his mojo, with only 131 runs across six matches. Hardik the bowler is faring even worse, with only three wickets this season. The final over to MS Dhoni, which saw him concede three sixes in a row, was another case in point.

But MI batting coach Kieron Pollard has thrown his weight behind Hardik and cannot wait to see “everyone sing his praises”.

“I don’t know if it will affect his confidence. He is a confident guy, he has been great around the group,” Pollard said in Mumbai after MI’s defeat to CSK.

“In cricket, you have good days and bad days and I am seeing an individual who is working bloody hard to improve his skills and plying his trade. I hope very well deep down within my heart that when he comes out on top, I’ll sit back and watch everyone sing his praises.”

In the backdrop of heavy criticism coming Hardik’s way, Pollard urged everyone to “stop nitpicking” individuals and let them be.

“I am fed up of looking to pinpoint individuals,” Pollard said. “Cricket is a team game at the end of the day. This is an individual that is going to represent the country in less than six weeks time and all are going to cheer for him and want him to do well. So high time we try to encourage and stop nitpicking and see if we can get the best out of one of the great all-rounders India has produced. He can bat, bowl and field, and has an X-factor about him.”

On his batting, Pollard expected Hardik to evolve and get back to his best very soon. “As an individual you have to evolve,” Pollard said. “When you are young, you have youthful exuberance. You go out and do things in a certain manner. The older you get, accountability and responsibility kick in.

“What I am seeing is the guy is evolving. We as individuals want to see certain things but sometimes the game does not demand certain things and [you] are going to make mistakes as you go along, as we all have done. The individual has put in the work and hard work pays off. So, all of us will be singing his praises when time comes.”

© Cricbuzz

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