Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians broke the internet as the decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as the captain of the franchise was announced. The franchise ended up losing thousands of followers on social media as fans condemned the decision. After coach Mark Boucher explained the logic behind this change in the leadership structure in a podcast, Rohit’s wife Ritika took to social media to post a comment that triggered a fresh storm on the internet.
Boucher called the captaincy chnage decision purely a ‘cricketing’ one, as the franchise intended to lift some burden off Rohit’s shoulders while giving Hardik the opportunity to continue growing as a captain, having already led the Gujarat Titans to two successive IPL finals.
“I think it was purely a cricketing decision. We saw the window period to get Hardik back as a player. For me it’s a transition phase. A lot of people don’t understand in India, people get quite emotional, but you know you take the emotions away from it. I think it’s just more of a cricketing decision that was made and I do think it is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person as a player. Just let him go out and enjoy and score some good runs,” Mark Boucher said on Smash Sports podcast.
Ritika, reacting to the podcast, wrote in the comment section: “So many things wrong with this…”
Further in the podcast, Boucher said he wanted Rohit to focus more on his batting, hence decided to take away the captaincy responsibility from him, putting Hardik in the spotlight, enabling the Hitman to play freely.
“One thing I did pick up with Ro (Rohit) is that he is a fantastic guy. I mean he’s been captaining for ages and he’s done really well for Mumbai Indians. Now he also leads India as well. It is that he walks into a place and there’s just cameras in it and he’s so busy and he hasn’t had probably the best couple of seasons of late with the bat but he’s done well as a captain.
“I just thought you know when we’re speaking with the whole Mumbai Indians group, we thought that maybe this is the opportunity for him to step as a player. We believe he got some great value to add and just go out there and actually enjoy it without the hype of being a captain,” Boucher said.
“He is still going to captain India so that hype’s going be there but when he steps into the IPL maybe just taking that extra bit of pressure off him as a captain an maybe we get the best out of Rohit Sharma. We want to see him playing with a smile on his face.”
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