ANI Photo | “I don’t think it will be awkward or different”: Hardik Pandya on leading MI in place of Rohit

Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya believes that there won’t be any awkwardness between him and former MI skipper Rohit Sharma ahead of the Indian Premier League 2024.
Last year, Hardik replaced Rohit as the skipper of one of the most successful franchises in the history of the tournament. The decision from the franchise didn’t go down well with some sections of the fanbase which led to some criticism.
As MI continue to gear up for the upcoming season, Hardik opened up about his relationship with Rohit and he believes that the Indian skipper will bring in his experience and back him throughout the season.
“First of all, it won’t be different he is going to be there to help me out if I need his help. At the same time, you have also mentioned he is the captain of the Indian cricket team which helps me because this team has achieved under his belt and from now onwards it is going to be what he has achieved I will just carry forward that. So I don’t think it will be awkward or anything different. It will be a nice feeling because we have been playing for 10 years, I have played whole my career under him and yeah I know he is going to have a hand on my shoulder always throughout the season,” Hardik said during MI’s pre-season press conference on Monday.
Hardik also opened up dealing with the backlash from fans regarding the change in captaincy. He emphasized his mindset of focusing on things that are under his control rather than pivoting on factors that remain out of his control.
“Yes I will be bowling, to be honest, we respect fans but at the same time we focus on the sport I focus on what is required I control the controllable I don’t focus on what I can’t control and at the same point in time we are grateful to fans. A lot of fame name comes from them. I respect their opinion,” Pandya said.
Hardik recently made his on-field return in the DY Patil T20 Tournament while leading Reliance 1. He missed out on India’s series against Australia, South Africa and Afghanistan due to an injury he sustained in the World Cup against Bangladesh.
Hardik went on to talk about returning to MI and leading the side where his IPL cricketing journey began and said, “It feels wonderful, my very journey started from here never thought 10 years down the line I would be leading the side. The feeling is way too amazing. Very excited for the season, very excited to play with all of my old fellows.”
MI will kick off their campaign against Gujarat Titans on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
MI IPL 204 squad: Rohit Sharma, Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, N. Tilak Varma, Tim David, Vishnu Vinod, Arjun Tendulkar, Shams Mulani, Nehal Wadhera, Jasprit Bumrah, Kumar Kartikeya, Piyush Chawla, Akash Madhwal, Jason Behrendorff, Romario Shepherd, Hardik Pandya (c), Gerald Coetzee, Dilshan Madushanka, Shreyas Gopal, Nuwan Thushara, Naman Dhir, Anshul Kamboj, Mohammad Nabi, Shivalik Sharma. (ANI)

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