The Captain Hardik Pandya Era Beckons: Mumbai Indians Gear Up For Change In Leadership And Fortunes

The Captain Hardik Pandya Era Beckons: Mumbai Indians Gear Up For Change In Leadership And Fortunes

Leading the Titans to their maiden IPL title in their debut season, Pandya The Leader was now complete and he almost led them to consecutive titles except to lose to a Dhoni-led CSK in the final in 2023.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 06:00 PM IST
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Hardik Pandya | Credits: Twitter/Mumbai Indians

When he first emerged on the scene in 2015, Hardik Pandya was as raw and unfiltered on the field as one could expect a 21-year-old to be.

The freedom that comes with youth and the liberated outlook that he brought to his batting in that breakout first season at the Mumbai Indians was a sign of things to come.

The hallmark of a true leader is leading by example and garnering the respect of your team-mates and opponents alike.

Pandya in his ‘Kung-Fu Pandya’ avatar in 2015 ensured his own team-mates at the MI and the opposition knew what his limitless potential was all about.

In an unforgettable IPL classic at the Wankhede in 2015, Pandya launched into the Kolkata Knight Riders to smash 61 off 31 balls comprising eight fours and two sixes.

The rise of Hardik Pandya

The Mumbai Indians were struggling at 79/4 batting first and the then young Pandya showcased the maturity of a seasoned campaigner with an innings that would eventually turn out to be a match-winning one.

In a game prior to the KKR one, Pandya had struck a 21 off eight with three huge sixes off Pawan Negi against the Chennai Super Kings and that was a demo before the biggie.

Pandya was cultivating his own cult and persona unknowingly with those knocks in the first season of his career.

Being the gun fielder that he is and his invaluable skill with the ball, Pandya always had an eye for the game and tremendous situational awareness.

Playing under a successful IPL captain like Rohit Sharma with five titles under his belt certainly rubs off on any player and more so on a charismatic one like Pandya.

Hardik Pandya as a captain

Handling pressure scenarios in tight IPL games was something Rohit did with Elan and Pandya soaked up those skills by watching from the sidelines from 2015-2021.

It was the apprenticeship before the real deal came his way in 2022 with the Gujarat Titans.

Leading the Titans to their maiden IPL title in their debut season, Pandya The Leader was now complete and he almost led them to consecutive titles except to lose to a Dhoni-led CSK in the final in 2023.

Mumbai Indians will benefit from Pandya’s best leadership nous in the coming days as he matures and evolves as a leader of men as much as he can be the best batter down the order or the most impactful bowler.

The Captain Pandya era is here to stay at the Mumbai Indians.

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