Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians Credits: Twitter

Legendary Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar backed the five-time champions Mumbai Indians’ decision to appoint Hardik Pandya as the franchise’s captain ahead of the Indian Premier League 2024. The 30-year-old will replace Rohit Sharma as the captain of the team for the 2024 season.

The Mumbai Indians have named Hardik Pandya as their new captain for the IPL 2024 season, succeeding Rohit Sharma in a move that has divided the cricket community. Since re-signing Hardik Pandya in a sensational trade deal ahead of the IPL 2024 auction on December 19, the Mumbai Indians have been preparing a change in leadership with an eye to the future.

Speaking on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar believes that Indian skipper Rohit Sharma’s form has dipped for Mumbai Indians in the last couple of years. He also highlighted the team’s poor performance in the previous two years prior to the 2023 season and feels that Rohit Sharma appears tired due to playing continuous cricket for India in all three formats of the game.

“We shouldn’t go into rights and wrongs. But, the decision they have taken is for the benefit of the team. In the last two years, Rohit’s contribution, even with the bat, has dipped a little bit.

“Earlier, he used to score big, but in the last two years they finished No. 9 or No. 10 the year before last year and in the last year they qualified for the playoffs,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar Credits: Twitter

“But we missed seeing the mojo in Rohit Sharma that we used to see in the previous few years. Maybe, he was a little tired because of playing continuous cricket, he was a little tired because of captaincy, leading India and the franchise,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

Rohit Sharma is likely to play for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL in 2024, assuring a smooth transition into a leadership position. The Mumbai Indians last won the IPL in 2020. The five-time champions missed the playoffs in 2021 and 2022 and were eliminated in the first elimination match in 2023.

I Think The Decision Will Only Benefit Mumbai Indians – Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar believes that Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya will bring a lot of success to the Mumbai Indians and that the change in captaincy will only help the franchise. He also emphasized his success as a leader of Gujarat Titans in the last couple of seasons, leading them to victory in their maiden season followed by a finals finish.

“I feel that the decision, they have kept in mind that Hardik is a young captain who has produced results. Hardik has led Gujarat to the finals twice, and he led them to the title in 2022. I think they have made him captain by considering all this.”

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians Credits: Twitter

“At times, you need fresh thinking. Hardik brings in that fresh thinking. I think the decision will only benefit Mumbai Indians, it will not deter them,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

During the IPL 2022 and 2023 seasons, Pandya was seen leading Gujarat Titans (GT) winning the championship with them in the maiden season followed by a runners-up finish this year, while Rohit Sharma had an underwhelming last three seasons for Mumbai Indians. He could be keen to lead the side to the sixth IPL title in the forthcoming season.