IPL 2024: “The captain had been stagnant”- Rohit Sharma opens up on MI’s captaincy change

Rohit Sharma was replaced by Hardik Pandya as MI captain ahead of IPL 2024.

Rohit Sharma | BCCI-IPLFormer Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma has opened up for the first time since being replaced as the skipper of the franchise ahead of IPL 2024. The franchise management decided to make Hardik Pandya the new captain of MI after he was traded in from Gujarat Titans.

However, the transition has not been smooth for Hardik Pandya, who has not been accepted by the MI fans as the new captain. To add to the misery, Mumbai Indians lost their first three matches, and Pandya was booed everywhere MI has played thus far, including at their home in Wankhede Stadium.

Mumbai Indians then won 2 successive matches - against Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru - before again losing to Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede.

Rohit Sharma had become MI captain mid-way in IPL 2013 and won the franchise’s maiden IPL title that year. He went on to win four more titles in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

"All these years actually, this has been the story of Mumbai Indians where we started pretty slow, and then things start to change. I guess it has to do with when you have new players in the squad, it's just about because the captain for the last ten years was stagnant, the coaches have changed for a few years, but the captain has been stagnant. I actually went with some thought process and I wanted to know from the people who would come in, to get them into my thought process because I know how IPL works and what it needs to be a successful team, so it takes time to get everyone on board and make them do something that they are not used to doing. For example, there have been so many cricketers, overseas players, local players who have come into the team and I know the Wankhede Stadium because I've played there, I've grown up there, so I know what works there, what you need to do,” Rohit said on the Club Prairie Podcast.

"For example, in 2013 when I took over we had Malinga (Lasith), Mitchell Johnson, Bumrah was in the squad but he was not the Bumrah of today. And then we had Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh), Ojha (Pragyan), and then we had to work around the other guys. For example Mitchell Johnson we all know likes to bang it hard on the deck and I knew it was not going to work at Wankhede, you got to pitch it slightly fuller and get the ball to swing a little bit, so we had to talk to him and see if we can try to do something different. Malinga does what Malinga does, there was no talking or anything needed when it came to him," Rohit added.

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"And then in 2015, we had Mitchell McClenaghan, who actually suited quite well for the conditions at Wankhede. Like that, we had a lot of overseas players, domestic players, and my process was just to get them on my thinking and what I think is the best and obviously hear them out, what they want to do as well and try and somehow find a balance between a captain and a player and we come to a conclusion and we try to go and do that," Rohit adds.

"That's been the big challenge of IPL and now till the year when I was the captain, I am actually very glad, we all understand that it is not just one person's job to make it through. I needed the support of my support staff around me to make sure that we aligned to the same thought process of what we wanted to go out there and do and right from Ricky Ponting to Mahela Jayawardene and now Mark Boucher, they have been all good and it's been quite supportive from them," Rohit concluded.

Rohit Sharma will become only the second player after MS Dhoni to play 250 IPL matches when MI clashes with PBKS in Mullanpur on Thursday.

(Times of India Inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 18 Apr, 2024

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