Manish Pandey, who was dropped from the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) playing XI after their defeat to the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on September 25, walked out for the toss on Friday. Pandey's appearance in the team's final Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 league stage match against Mumbai Indians (MI) sent social media into a frenzy.
The SRH captaincy has been in focus after David Warner was replaced by Kane Williamson in the leadership role. The match against MI was widely expected to be Warner's last match for the franchise after a seven-year stint. However, both Williamson or Warner did not come out for the toss.
Instead, it was Pandey, who has been in and out of the squad this season. Pandey has scored 223 runs in eight matches this season at an average of 37.16. However, his slow scoring has been a cause for concern for SRH as his strike rate this year has been 114.35.
Best reactions to Manish Pandey captaining SRH against MI
Manish Pandey was trending on Twitter after the toss in the SRH vs MI clash. The toss, in itself, was crucial because MI needed to bat first to have any hopes of making it to the playoffs. The Mumbai side needed to win by over 170 runs to overtake Kolkata Knight Riders' Net Run Rate.
However, Manish Pandey coming out to captain took the focus away from that. MI did win the toss, with Rohit Sharma opting to bat as the two captains shared a laugh.
Pandey revealed that regular captain Kane Williamson had picked up a niggle in the last minute while Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out with a finger injury. This will be Manish Pandey's first match as captain in the IPL.
Fans were also disappointed that David Warner, one of the franchise's most iconic players and captains, was not given a farewell. Warner is expected to leave the team at the end of the season.
Here are some of the best reactions to Friday's events on Twitter:
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