The decision of Mumbai Indians (MI) to appoint Hardik Pandya their captain by replacing Rohit Sharma has definitely not gone down well with many followers of the team. Expressing their disappointment, many fans unfollowed the Instagram account of MI with the franchise witnessing a noticeable dip. MI lost more than 5 lakh followers in less than 24 hours since the announcement of the captaincy change. By the time, this news was written, MI’s fan following on Instagram was reduced to 12.6 million.
The announcement about change of captaincy from Mumbai Indians came after Hardik made a return to the franchise last month, following a high-profile trade from Gujarat Titans, whom he led in the past two seasons.
In a statement, Mumbai Indians said the change in leadership was part of their future planning and thanked Rohit for his exemplary service to the franchise.
Mumbai Indians are the most successful IPL franchise alongside Chennai Super Kings who both have won five titles each.
Rohit, who recently led India to the ODI World Cup final, had been captaining the franchise since 2013 when they lifted first of their five IPL trophies.
The other titles under Rohit’s captaincy came in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Mumbai Indians had made it to the play-offs in IPL 2023.
Meanwhile, Hardik contributed to Mumbai’s glorious run in the IPL, playing a key role in the team’s triumph between 2015 and 2021 before leaving to captain the Titans. He led them to the title on its IPL debut in 2022 and to a runners-up finish earlier this year.
The significant development also raises questions about Rohit’s future in the shortest format. The 36-year-old was left heartbroken after India fell short in the final hurdle against Australia in the ODI World Cup at home after winning 10 games on the trot.
Another ODI World Cup appearance seems unlikely but he could be back to lead India in the T20 World Cup in six months’ time.
Interestingly, Rohit and Virat Kohli have not turned up for India in the T20 format since the semifinal exit at the World Cup in Australia last year.
(With PTI Inputs)
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