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Suresh Raina backs Hardik Pandya to shine against Pakistan

India's campaign in T20 World Cup starts against Ireland on June 5, followed by much-awaited match against Pakistan

Suresh Raina backs Hardik Pandya to shine against Pakistan PHOTO: AFP

Hardik Pandya had a rough 2024 Indian Premier League season and the Mumbai Indians struggled throughout, finishing last with only four wins.

The controversy surrounding Mumbai began with Pandya's appointment as captain, which upset many fans, leading to backlash against the management. Pandya faced boos at Wankhede Stadium and performed poorly, scoring just 216 runs and taking 11 wickets in 14 matches.

Despite his IPL struggles, Pandya was named in India's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, although concerns about his form persist. Former India star Suresh Raina, however, remains confident in Pandya, believing he will shine, especially against Pakistan.

“He has done really well (for India). Temporary poor form does not make someone bad. When he will perform well against Pakistan in the World Cup, everyone will praise him,” Raina said, as quoted by ANI.

Pandya has been crucial for India's T20I team, even leading them in 2023 when Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli focused on the ODI World Cup. With Rohit back as captain for the T20 World Cup, Pandya will serve as his deputy. India's campaign starts against Ireland on June 5, followed by a match against Pakistan on June 9.