In a surprising move, Mumbai Indians decided to remove Rohit Sharma as the captain of the franchise, replacing him with Hardik Pandya.
The captaincy switch at Mumbai Indians, from Rohit Sharma to Hardik Pandya, has triggered a plethora of reactions from fans. The move wasn’t particularly well received by MI’s supporters, a fact that reflected on the franchise’s social media following as well. Hardik’s return to the franchise where he started his career after leading Gujarat Titans to two finals in the last two years also prompted a change in the leadership structure at MI. Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, however, feels Rohit’s exit as MI skipper isn’t something that should be looked at “sentimentally and emotionally”.
“One should not be thinking sentimentally or emotionally about Rohit Sharma. I think it’s a good move as Hardik Pandya is a proven leader and has had a great run. So, he is your in-form T20 captain and player,” Manjrekar said on Star Sports after 1st ODI between India and South Africa in Johannesburg.
The reactions on social media since Hardik’s appointment as MI’s skipper has mostly been emotional, with some fans even criticising the franchise for their treatment of the man who led them to 5 titles in 10 seasons. But, Manjrekar is of the opinion that Hardik’s appointment makes a lot of ‘cricketing sense’, even if it doesn’t make emotional sense.
“Rohit has been around for a long time. So, it makes a lot of cricketing sense to have somebody like Hardik,” he stated.
But, Manjrekar is also worried about the psychological impact such a move can have on Hardik considering the efforts Mumbai Indians had to make in order to get him to the franchise in the first place.
“I just hope he doesn’t feel the pressure of how the transferred happened and Mumbai Indians backing him so much,” Manjrekar added.