Hardik takes over from Rohit as Mumbai Indians captain

Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma News

Hardik Pandya will captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024, taking over from Rohit Sharma, who led the team through a decade of thrilling highs. Rohit, who led Mumbai to five IPL titles, is the joint-most-successful captain in the tournament’s history alongside Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni.

The leadership change comes less than a month after Mumbai brought Hardik back to his original franchise after he had captained Gujarat Titans to a title and a runners-up finish in back-to-back seasons.

While the development might come as a surprise to some, Mumbai had a clear plan when they traded Hardik from Titans. The franchise had identified Hardik as Rohit’s successor and wanted to ensure a smooth transition as in the past, when the captaincy baton had passed from Sachin Tendulkar to Harbhajan Singh and then Ricky Ponting to Rohit.

It is understood that Rohit will continue playing for Mumbai in the IPL.

Why Hardik Pandya Left Gujarat Titans

“It is part of legacy building and staying true to the MI philosophy of being future-ready,” Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai’s global head of performance, said in a statement. “Mumbai Indians have always been blessed with exceptional leadership right from Sachin to Harbhajan and Ricky to Rohit, who while contributing to the immediate success have always had an eye on strengthening the team for the future. It is in keeping with this philosophy that Hardik Pandya will assume captaincy of Mumbai Indians for the IPL 2024 season.

“We express our gratitude to Rohit Sharma for his exceptional leadership; his tenure as the captain of the Mumbai Indians since 2013 has been nothing short of extraordinary. His leadership has not only brought unparalleled success to the team but has also solidified his place as one of the finest captains in the history of the IPL.

“Under his guidance, MI became one of the most successful and loved teams ever. We will look forward to his guidance and experience on and off the field to further strengthen MI. We welcome Hardik Pandya as the new captain of MI and wish him all the very best.”

In all, Rohit led Mumbai 163 times in the IPL and the Champions League T20, winning 91 games, tieing four and losing 68. Under him, Mumbai reached five IPL finals – in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 – and won all of them. The last three seasons have been less successful for Mumbai, though. They failed to make the playoffs in 2021 and 2022, and went out of the 2023 tournament with a loss to Titans in the second Qualifier.

It remains to be seen whether the captaincy change at Mumbai is a precursor to a similar shift in India’s T20I team. Rohit is currently India’s all-format captain, but has not played a T20I since the semi-final defeat at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. In that time, Hardik has captained India in the format when available – he has led them in 13 of their last 25 T20Is – but is currently out of action with an ankle injury sustained during the recent ODI World Cup. Suryakumar Yadav – another Mumbai Indians player – captained India in the recently concluded T20I series in South Africa.

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