Rohit Sharma will not be leading the Mumbai Indians in the 2024 season, with Hardik Pandya being named franchise’s new captain earlier this month.
The Mumbai Indians, gearing up for the 2024 IPL season, made a significant move earlier this month as they appointed Hardik Pandya as their new captain. Hardik returned to the Mumbai Indians after two years in a trade last month, having been released by the franchise ahead of the 2022 mega auction. Despite the decision to name Hardik as captain, Rohit Sharma remains a part of the team, and the management emphasized that Rohit will continue to play a pivotal role during this transition. The announcement sparked a flurry of reactions on social media, with some criticizing the Mumbai Indians for removing Rohit as captain.
Hardik Pandya, however, brings proven leadership skills to the table, having led the Gujarat Titans to an IPL title in his inaugural season as skipper in 2022. He also took the Titans to another final this year but faced a defeat against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings. Nevertheless, with Hardik’s demonstrated leadership prowess, the Mumbai Indians are poised for an intriguing season in 2024.
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While Rohit Sharma’s batting credentials are unquestionable, there have been concerns about his T20 form over the past few IPL seasons. Rohit last breached the 400-run mark in the league in 2019, scoring 405 runs in 15 IPL games. Subsequently, his performances dipped with 332, 381, 268, and 332 runs in the next four seasons for MI. Despite Rohit showcasing an aggressive approach in the 2023 World Cup, leading India to the final, doubts persist regarding his T20 batting approach.
According to former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, Suryakumar Yadav is the sole dependable batter in the Mumbai Indians lineup as they prepare for the 2024 edition of the tournament.
“Ishan Kishan, from couple of seasons before MI paid the big bucks… he is in the same kind of form. Tim David is still trying to fill the shoes of Kieron Pollard. On form, one player that you can maybe depend on, the player who you can expect to come good, is Suryakumar Yadav,” said Manjrekar on Hotstar during a commentary stint during India’s 2nd ODI against South Africa.
“Rohit Sharma, for me, as a batter, is a question mark in T20 cricket. has shown promise, the way he played in the fifty -over World Cups. But that’s a completely different format, when you know you have fifty overs. They bat in that fashion. Bowlers just bowl differently in 50 overs as well,” he said further.
Rohit Sharma has also remained absent from the Indian T20I squad since November 2022, marking his last appearance as the captain during the T20 World Cup. In his absence, Hardik Pandya has taken up the leadership role for the Indian team in the shortest format.