Harbhajan urges Indian team management to address differences between Rohit and Hardik ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

Rohit Sharma played underway Hardik Pandya's captaincy in the recently-concluded IPL season.

Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya | XAhead of the IPL 2024 season, Hardik Pandya, who completed a high-profile trade from Gujarat Titans (GT) to Mumbai Indians (MI), replaced Rohit Sharma as skipper of the five-time champions.

However, the all-rounder failed to create an impact as captain. The five-time champions finished the season at the bottom of the points table and became the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs race.

On a personal front, Hardik endured a disappointing IPL 2024 campaign with both bat and ball, scoring just 216 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 143.05 without a half-century. While he managed to claim 11 wickets, it came an average of 35.18 and an economy rate of 10.75.

Meanwhile, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has backed Hardik Pandya to bounce back while playing for the country in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, slated to be held in the West Indies and USA from June 1 to June 29.

"When he wears that blue jersey, he will be a different Hardik Pandya because we know he can score those runs and take those wickets. I want Hardik to come good as he has gone through a lot and I wish him all the very best to have a very good tournament for India," Harbhajan told PTI.

"If he has a good tournament, obviously India will have a great chance to go forward. Yes, his form is a bit of a concern...and lot of other stuff was going on around him, his shifting from Gujarat to Mumbai, was a big change and the team (MI) didn't react too well to Hardik coming back and that too as captain," he added.

In the upcoming T20 World Cup, the tables will turn as Rohit will lead the Indian team, which also includes Hardik as vice-captain.

According to Harbhajan, the Indian team management needs to bring Rohit and Hardik together and on the same page if the Men in Blue are to do well in the marquee event.

"It looked like they (MI) were not playing together as a team. So there was a lot going on. Hardik wasn't a free man in the last two months. I believe both of them and many others who have played in different teams will have to come together to do something special for the nation. Winning a World Cup is a bigger achievement than winning an IPL trophy, so I would urge the management to bring everyone together, have them on one page and make sure they play like one. I believe it's the responsibility of the management to come together, and win together. Even if they lose they should be losing together," Harbhajan remarked.

India will open their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against Ireland in New York on June 5.

India Squad: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh

Travelling Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan


By Salman Anjum - 29 May, 2024

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