The choice to make Hardik Pandya the captain of the Mumbai Indians instead of Rohit Sharma is causing a split in public opinion. Many people are taking this news with skepticism, while only a few are embracing the idea of Hardik leading the most successful IPL franchise. Hardik has proven his captaincy skills by taking the Gujarat Titans to consecutive finals, winning one title. However, the controversy over demoting Rohit continues.
Die-hard Mumbai Indians fans are not happy about the leadership change. Emotionally invested in their team, they believe that regardless of Hardik’s abilities, he may not be able to replace Rohit or fill his shoes. However, it’s a fact that Mumbai Indians, who won five titles in their first 10 seasons, haven’t won one in the last three years, even finishing last in 2022. Hardik’s task of bringing MI back to winning ways is undoubtedly challenging.
Who knows, the new leader Hardik might just end Mumbai Indians’ three-season title drought. At least, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar thinks so. Commenting on the change in leadership, the former India captain believes that giving Hardik the responsibility can work wonders for MI.
“Hardik is a young and fresh captain who has delivered results. He led the Gujarat Titans to two IPL finals and won a title once. So, they made him captain with all this in mind. Sometimes you need fresh thinking, and Hardik can bring that. Making Hardik captain may or may not benefit the team, but it certainly won’t hurt them,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
Apart from MI’s announcement on Friday, not many details have emerged about why the management decided to make this change. Reports are suggesting that Hardik agreed to return to MI because he wanted the captaincy role. Perhaps the team thought, ‘Why not.’ However, it’s important to note that Rohit was likely consulted in the decision-making process.
Gavaskar also pointed out Rohit’s struggles in the 2022 season, his worst with the bat in IPL history – 268 runs at an average of just above 19 without a single fifty. Gavaskar suggests that Rohit might be tired, given the responsibility of captaining India in two formats, leading to a decrease in the fire in his belly.