File photo of Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma© BCCI
A huge cricketing storm was triggered in India after Mumbai Indians announced the decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as the captain of the franchise. Rohit, who has led the franchise to five IPL titles, would head into the IPL 2024 season as a pure batter while Hardik, who was traded from Gujarat Titans, would take up the role of the skipper. Though fans have found it tough to get their heads around the topic, Mumbai Indians coach Mark Boucher explained the thought process that led to making this tough call.
With Rohit already 36 and his best days as a batter looking past him, Mumbai Indians made the tough call of promoting Hardik as the skipper, banking on his record of leading the Gujarat Titans to two successive IPL finals, winning one of them.
“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 Smash Sports podcast.
Boucher highlighted the non-cricketing part of the IPL as one of the reasons behind this decision, asserting he wanted to Rohit to have fewer responsibilities on his shoulders and enjoy his time as a batter after struggling to give his best with the bat over the last couple of seasons.
“I mean one of the things I have spoken about is when you arrive at the IPL and he (Chris Morris) will be able to tell you as well that there’s a lot of stuff going on, there’s photoshoots and this and that and a lot of emphasis is not actually on the cricket. It’s more about the advertising and all that sort of stuff,” says Boucher.
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