Mumbai Indians created a storm in Indian cricket by bringing the Gujarat Titans’ captain Hardik Pandya back to the team where he made a name for himself.
The Gujarat Titans captain, Hardik Pandya, made headlines when he returned to the Mumbai Indians in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL), causing a huge storm. Hardik began his career with MI, and following the 2021 season, the team released him.
A topic of debate among players and analysts is how one gets into the Indian squad, especially with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 just a few months away. India’s ace pacer Mohammed Shami too had made his view clear about Hardik Pandya joining Mumbai Indians.
Hardik Pandya to captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024
The Mumbai Indians (MI), the five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, will be captained by allrounder Hardik Pandya of India in the IPL 2024 campaign. Pandya has taken up the captaincy, replacing Rohit Sharma, who is currently the Indian captain.
Notably, Mumbai won the IPL title five times under Rohit’s leadership. Hardik is now the team’s captain in place of Rohit by the MI management, who prefer prospects over experience.
The news has not been without storm, as fans show discontent over the replacement of Rohit. Social media platforms did see a surge in campaigns rallying support for the former skipper, leading to a huge decline in Mumbai’s online following.
The action could alter the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) dynamics in addition to the success of the two teams. With Hardik Pandya departing, the Titans decided to name Shubman Gill the new captain.
Mumbai Indians were forced to make the tough decision to give Pandya full control of the team. Players who have showed their ability to lead the team, such as ex-captain Rohit Sharma and veterans Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav, may take issue with this decision.
Mohammed Shami gives his opinion on Hardik joining Mumbai Indians
After Hardik Pandya was traded, Gujarat Titans’ young opener Shubman Gill will captain the team. Mohammed Shami, the talented pacer who was pivotal in helping Gujarat Titans win the Purple Cap in the 2023 IPL, responded to the trade deal by offering his thoughts on Hardik’s choice.
Mohammed Shami downplayed the importance of the IPL trade, focusing that such movements are the part of a player’s career.
“You see, it doesn’t matter who leaves. The balance of the team will come up in the meetings. Hardik was present, and he led us expertly. In both instances, he led us to the final game, and in 2022, he secured the win. But, Gujarat has never signed Hardik before”.
It’s his choice. Now that Shubman is captain, he will get exposure as well. He too may depart one day. It’s also a part of the game. “Players come and go,” Shami said to News24.
Shami trusts Shubhman Gill to deliver as Gujarat Titans’ new captain
The Gujarat Titans team made it to the IPL final in each of the two seasons they took part in the league, both of which were led by Pandya. The last time around, they lost in the final game after winning it in their first season.
It is vital to manage the responsibility that comes with being captain while still paying attention to your performance. And Shubman will take up the task this time around. Though the players are the same, he may be carrying some weight. Thus, he need not be concerned. To get the most out of your players, you must manage them well,” Mohammed Shami said.
Mohammed Shami had a great 2023 for the Indian squad as well as the Titans. In addition to taking 28 wickets for the team during the season, Shami finished as the 2023 World Cup’s top wicket-taker with 24 wickets, despite missing the first three games.
Mohammed Shami hasn’t been named in the team for the first two home Test matches against England as he recovers from an ankle injury. He missed the Test series against South Africa. The bowler hopes to be back to full strength in time for the five-match series’ last three Test matches.