• Justin Langer gave his opinion on the huge fan following of MS Dhoni in IPL 2024.

  • Langer criticized the Indian fans for mocking Hardik Pandya on the field.

IPL 2024: Justin Langer opens up on massive fan following of MS Dhoni and mass criticism of Hardik Pandya
Justin Langer, MS Dhoni Fans and Hardik Pandya
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MS Dhoni has been the centre of attention in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Despite Chennai Super Kings (CSK) failing to qualify for the playoffs, the wicketkeeper-batter’s presence undoubtedly captivated fans throughout the league. Although IPL 2023 concluded with a victory for CSK, Dhoni, rather than opting for a triumphant farewell, decided to extend his career for another season. Before the commencement of the cash-rich league, he gave the captaincy role to Ruturaj Gaikwad. Despite battling a persistent injury throughout the season, the former Indian skipper showcased his immense batting prowess on the field.

Many renowned sporting personalities gave their opinion regarding the huge fan following of Dhoni. Adding to the discourse, Justin Langer, the head coach of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), contributed his insights on the topic.

Justin Langer spills beans on the hero-worshipping of MS Dhoni

In a discussion on the BBC Sports weekly podcast, Stumped, Langer recounted his experience witnessing the immense fan backing for Dhoni in the game venues. The former Australian cricketer expressed his astonishment at the sea of yellow jerseys filling the stands, labelling the fans’ enthusiasm as extraordinary. Langer also highlighted the phenomenon of hero worship in India, remarking on its unbelievable nature.

“It’s extraordinary. I heard about it first; then we played them [CSK] twice. They came to Lucknow, and our capacity crowd [in Ekana Stadium] is about 50,000, and honestly, there would have been 48,000 MS Dhoni number seven shirts. I couldn’t believe it, and then we went to CSK, and there wasn’t 98%; there was 100%. And it’s unbelievable. The hero worship in India is unbelievable,” Langer told BBC.

Also WATCH: IPL 2024 – Trent Boult’s solid response after conceding a 6 and 4 against Abhishek Sharma in Qualifier 2 | SRH vs RR

Langer voices his concern against the criticism faced by Hardik Pandya

Talking further in the podcast, Langer highlighted the dual nature of hero worship and recounted the instances of the Indian crowd booing Hardik Pandya, the newly appointed captain of Mumbai Indians (MI). The 53-year-old emphasized that it was very sad to see Hardik getting hatred from the fans despite the fact that he was chosen as the vice-captain of Team India. Langer concluded his statement by saying that Jonty Rhodes and Morne Morkel advised him to ignore this act of the fans and move on rather than being upset.

“And I saw the flip side of it as well because Rohit Sharma is a huge hero in India as India captain. And what happened with Mumbai Indians this year. Hardik Pandya took over as the captain from Rohit Sharma. The much-loved Rohit Sharma. And it was really sad to watch. You know, he got booed every game by the Indian crowds. He’s the vice-captain of the Indian T20I squad. So, I saw both sides of it. I learned this from Jonty Rhodes and Morne Morkel, who’d been to the IPL before. Rather than getting upset by it, go with the flow,” Langer stated.

Also WATCH: ‘Worst ball ever seen in cricket’ – SRH’s Aiden Markram delivers a bizarre no ball in IPL 2024 Qualifier 2 against RR


CATEGORY: Featured Hardik Pandya IPL Justin Langer MS Dhoni T20 League

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About the Author:
Samarth is a dedicated sports writer and cricket aficionado with a deep passion for the game. Armed with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to his coverage of cricket. His journey into sports journalism has been fueled by a lifelong love for both literature and the sport, blending his appreciation for storytelling with the excitement of cricketing action. From the pages of classic novels to the thrilling matches on the cricket field, Samarth finds inspiration in the narratives that both worlds offer. His childhood was punctuated by moments of emulating cricketing heroes, with Pat Cummins emerging as his ultimate favorite player, shaping his perspective on the game and informing his analysis. Through his writing, Samarth aims to capture the essence of cricket's drama, skill, and emotion, delivering compelling narratives that resonate with fans worldwide. You can connect with him at samarth@crickettimes.com and follow him on Twitter & Linkedin.