Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya's appointment as Mumbai Indians captain on Friday came quite a surprise for cricket fans. Ahead of IPL 2024, the Mumbai-based franchise decided to transition the leadership role from Rohit Sharma to Hardik Pandya.
Hardik's appointment as a captain by Mumbai Indians came just three weeks after he was traded from Gujarat Titans for a whopping Rs. 15 crore in an all-cash deal ahead of the IPL 2024 Auction.
During the time of his trading, it was not clear whether the all-rounder will lead Mumbai Indians until the franchise released an official statement on passing on the captaincy duties to Hardik Pandya.
Hardik Pandya's trading to Mumbai Indians was a homecoming for him as he began his IPL career with the five-time IPL champions. He was part of MI team that won four titles in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. He played the last season with Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 before moving to Gujarat Titans for IPL 2022.
Following the news of Hardik Pandya's appointment as MI captain, there has been a mixed reactions from cricket fans across the world. Some were disappointment at Mumbai Indians for removing Rohit Sharma as captain, while a section of fans believe that Jasprit Bumrah should have deserved leadership role.
Can Hardik Pandya Lead Mumbai Indians to 6th IPL Title?
Following Hardik Pandya's appointment as a captain, there has been a major question that popped up whether the all-rounder can carry on legacy of former skipper and lead Mumbai Indians to the sixth IPL Triumph.
The 30-year-old is already a winning IPL captain after he led Gujarat Titans to their first triumph in their debut IPL season in 2021. He led the team mixed with experienced players and youngsters.
Ahead of the IPL 2021, there was a lot of questions regarding his captaincy credentials due to lack of experience in leading the team across all formats. However, he managed to prove his worth as a leader of the team.
Hardik Pandya will leading a team that has a rich legacy in the history of Indian Premier League. Since he already has captaincy experienced as he has led the Indian team in T20Is and ODIs and Gujarat Titans in IPL twice in 2022 and 2023.
Also, fast-bowling all-rounder will be bit under pressure to perform while leading Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024. It remains to be seen how he will capitalized on his leadership experience while captaining MI in the upcoming IPL season.