Ahead of the start of the IPL 2024 season, 5 times IPL title winners Mumbai Indians made a surprising move by replacing Hardik Pandya as their new captain.
Ahead of the IPL 2024 Auction, rumours started to flood regarding Hardik Pandya’s possible trade with Mumbai Indians. At first, Gujarat Titans included Hardik’s name in their IPL 2024 retained players list but later they confirmed their skipper’s trade with Mumbai Indians.
Later Mumbai Indians also confirmed the trade and named Hardik Pandya as their new captain for the 2024 season. The move makes the cricket community go in shock even though many criticize the move some praise Mumbai Indians for this futuristic decision.
Why Mumbai Indians Removed Rohit Sharma From Captaincy
Though many through their view on Mumbai India’s decision, head coach Mark Boucher reckoned it was a ‘cricketing decision’ while opening up about it for the first time.
“I think it was purely a cricketing decision. We saw the window period to get Hardik back as a player. For me it’s a transition phase. A lot of people don’t understand in India, people get quite emotional, but you know you take the emotions away from it.
I think it’s just more of a cricketing decision that was made and I do think it is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person as a player. Just let him go out and enjoy and score some good runs,” Mark Boucher said on a Sports podcast.
Boucher stressed the intention of the MI think tank to take the burden and hype of captaincy away from Rohit who has had a couple of ordinary seasons with the bat by his standards.
Rohit scored 268 at a strike rate of 120.18 in 2022 when his team finished bottom of the table. In IPL 2023, he did better with 332 runs at 132.80, and his team lost in the second qualifier.
“One thing I did pick up with Ro (Rohit) is that he is a fantastic guy. I mean he’s been captaining for ages and he’s done really well for Mumbai Indians. Now he also leads India as well. It is that he walks into a place and there’s just cameras in it and he’s so busy and he hasn’t had probably the best couple of seasons of late with the bat but he’s done well as a captain.
“And I just thought you know when we’re speaking with the whole Mumbai Indians group, we thought that maybe this is the opportunity for him to step as a player. We believe he got some great value to add and just go out there and actually enjoy it without the hype of being a captain,” Boucher said.
“He is still going to captain India so that hype’s going be there but when he steps into the IPL maybe just taking that extra bit of pressure off him as a captain an maybe we get the best out of Rohit Sharma. We want to see him playing with a smile on his face, spending a bit of time with his beautiful family.”
Boucher praised Rohit’s successor – Hardik – for making an instant impact in the last two seasons. Hardik, who was picked by Gujarat Titans before the auction ahead of the 2022 season led them to the title that year, before finishing runners-up in 2023.
“He is a Mumbai Indians boy. He went to other franchise, won the title in first year, ended up runner-up in his second year. So there’s obviously some very good leadership skills as well,” Boucher said.
As per the IPL 2024 Schedule, the defending champions Chennai Super Kings(CSK) will play the opening game of the tournament(going by history).
BCCI hosted the IPL 2024 Auction in Dubai on December 19 while November 26 was set as the deadline for the teams to finalise their retention and released players list. Notably, this will be the first time an IPL auction is conducted overseas.
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