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Rohit Sharma had to intervene finally and stop the Mumbai crowd from booing the home team captain Hardik Pandya as the 5-time champions were handed a crushing defeat by Rajasthan in an IPL 2024 match at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. While fielding at the deep, Rohit was spotted signalling toward the crowd, asking the fans to calm down and allow a breather to Hardik, who has had rough start to his stint as the captain of the 5-time champions.

Hardik Pandya was booed by the Ahmedabad crowd on his return to the Narendra Modi Stadium in Mumbai's IPL 2024 opener and he did not get a warm reception in Hyderabad during the record-breaking match against the SunRisers. However, things were expected to be different at the Wankhede Stadium as the MI crowd have known to back the team to the hilt over the years in the IPL. Much to the surprise of quite a few, the Wankhede crowd went after Hardik Pandya, booing their captain from the coin toss. The boos were loud so much so that broadcaster Sanjay Manrjrekar had to step in and ask the crowd to "behave".

Rohit Sharma was not as straightforward as Sanjay Manjrekar, but the television cameras spotted the former captain, asking the home crowd to rally behind Hardk Pandya, who has been under tremendous pressure in the new



season. Rohit was signalling with his hand while he was fielding along the boundary line even as Rajasthan was making a light work of their 126-run chase.

It was a tough night for Hardik Pandya as Mumbai slipped to one of their most insipid losses at home. Managing just 125 on the board after the likes of Rohit Sharma, Dewald Brevis and Naman Dhir failed to trouble the scorers, Mumbai allowed Rajasthan to breeze to the target in just 15.3 overs. While Hardik Pandya top-scored with a 21-ball 34, he lacked support from the other end as Trent Boult and Yuzvendra Chahal picked 6 wickets between them.

With the ball, Akash Madhwal shone with 3 wickets on hs return to the MI side and Jasprit Bumrah kept it tight in the powerplay after getting the new ball, finally. However, the bowling efforts were not enough as a composed Riyan Parag's 54 not out helped Rajasthan chase down 126 in just 15.3 overs.

The crushing defeat saw Mumbai rooted to the bottom of the points table and their Net Run Rate also took a big hit. Mumbai are the only team in IPL 2024 without a win after three rounds of matches.

Mumbai have a 6-day break to regroup and rethink their strategies as they next host Delhi at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday, April 7. 
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