Hardik Pandya was announced as a Mumbai Indians player once again on Monday, a day after the retention deadline day. The former Gujarat Titans skipper moves back to his “home” franchise, where he began his career in 2015 and was retained until 2021.
He was released ahead of the IPL 2022 auction and was roped in by Gujarat Titans. Hardik Pandya captained Gujarat to two consecutive IPL finals, winning one and losing one.
While MI announced Hardik Pandya is back in their squad, there has been no news about the captaincy. It seems all but certain that Hardik will lead MI – whether it happens in IPL 2024 or in 2025, that is to be confirmed yet. Rohit Sharma has captained MI since 2013 and led the franchise to all its success with 5 IPL titles.
3 reasons why Hardik Pandya should captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 instead of Rohit Sharma:
Transition of captaincy from Rohit to Hardik, not just in MI, but also in Indian team
While Rohit Sharma has had immense success as Mumbai’s captain, the time feels right for the transition to Hardik Pandyas as his successor.
Also, Hardik is touted to take over from Rohit as India’s white-ball captain. So the earlier Hardik is given the permanent captaincy, at both India and MI, the better for him to build the squad and chart out plans.
The IPL 2024 will quickly be followed by the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies. Hardik Pandya should be leading MI in IPL 2024 and then India in the T20 World Cup. Waiting for 2025 might not be ideal.
Lessen Rohit’s burden of captaincy and allow him to play with freedom
Rohit Sharma showed his aggressive best during the World Cup 2023 and was, without a doubt, the best batsman in the first powerplay during the World Cup. Without any restraint, he took on the bowlers and attacked them, and executed his shots to perfection, giving rapid starts to India.
He had a poor IPL 2023 season where he failed to either score big or score fast. Giving the captaincy to Hardik would free Rohit of any sort of extra responsibility and it could bring out his best as an opener. With power-hitters to follow in Suryakumar, Hardik, and Tim David, Rohit could setup the platform in the powerplay for others to capitalize. He could do it with more freedom and aggression if he doesn’t have the captainy burden.