Mumbai Indians’ decision to replace skipper Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season remains the most talked-about topic in the cricketing world. Rohit, who led the Indian team phenomenally in the Cricket World Cup 2023, only to lose the final to Australia, would no longer be at the helm when MI will take to the field in the IPL next season. But, Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar doesn’t think this is a move that should make people get into ‘rights and wrongs’.
“We shouldn’t go into rights and wrongs. But, the decision they have taken is for the benefit of the team. In the last two years, Rohit’s contribution, even with the bat, has dipped a little bit. Earlier, he used to score big, but in the last two years, they finished No. 9 or No. 10 the year before last year and in the last year they qualified for the playoffs,” Gavaskar said in a chat on Star Sports.
Gavaskar, in fact, feels the decision was taken by the Mumbai Indians as Rohit seemed ‘tired’ because of the leadership responsibilities not just in the IPL but also in international cricket. Hence, getting a captain like Hardik, who led Gujarat Titans to two finals in the last two seasons, makes sense to Gavaskar.
“But we missed seeing the mojo in Rohit Sharma that we used to see in the previous few years. Maybe, he was a little tired because of playing continuous cricket, he was a little tired because of captaincy, leading India and the franchise,” he added.
“I feel that the decision, they have kept in mind that Hardik is a young captain who has produced results. Hardik has led Gujarat to the finals twice, and he led them to the title in 2022. I think they have made him captain by considering all this.”
“At times, you need fresh thinking. Hardk brings in that fresh thinking. I think the decision will only benefit Mumbai Indians, it will not deter them,” he added.
Be it Rohit or Hardik, none of these players has officially made a public statement since the change in captaincy was confirmed by the Mumbai Indians. But, it was earlier reported that the captaincy role was one of Hardik’s demands when he was approached to leave Gujarat Titans by Mumbai Indians.
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