'Rohit Sharma Lacked Success As Batter And Captain’: Robin Uthappa On Why Hardik Pandya Took Over As MI Skipper In IPL 2024

'Rohit Sharma Lacked Success As Batter And Captain’: Robin Uthappa On Why Hardik Pandya Took Over As MI Skipper In IPL 2024

The Mumbai Indians management to replace their most successful captain Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya received backlash from fans.

Hrishikesh DamodarUpdated: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 03:34 PM IST
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Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa and Hardik Pandya | Credits: Twitter & YouTube

Ahead of IPL 2024, Mumbai Indians pulled off a big surprise by announcing a change in captaincy, replacing their most successful skipper Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya. The decision by the MI management not just grabbed headlines but also shocked and angered the fans, with many questioning the rationale behind removing Rohit Sharma from the helm of the team despite leading the side to a record five IPL titles.

Hardik Pandya returned to his old franchise through a trade deal by Gujarat Titans ahead of IPL 2024 Auction. Just a few weeks later, Mumbai Indians decided to appoint Hardik Pandya as their new skipper ahead of the 17th edition of the tournament.

It has been four months since unceremonious sacking of Rohit Sharma as a captain of Mumbai Indians and yet, there is no clear answer as to why he was replaced with Hardik Pandya, who returned to his first IPL franchise after leading Gujarat Titans to consecutive finals in 2022 and 2023.

Robin Uthappa explains the reason behind MI's change in captaincy

Former Mumbai Indians batter Robin Uthappa explained the reason behind why the franchise replaced Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as captain.

Speaking to YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia on the podcast 'The Ranveer Show', Uthappa said that Rohit Sharma lacked success as captain and as batter in the last three IPL seasons. He also said that the senior MI players supported Rohit as captain when he received the baton from Ricky Ponting midway through IPL 2013.

"When captaincy was given to Rohit Sharma it was taken from Ricky Ponting in the middle of the season (IPL 2013). This is the same franchise. All the senior guys Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, and Ricky Ponting supported Rohit." Robin Uthappa said.

"In the last three years, statistically, Mumbai Indians didn't win an IPL title and Rohit Sharma scored less than 300 runs. So there's a lack of success as a batter and a lack of success as a captain." he added.

In the last four IPL seasons, Rohit Sharma struggled with his form as he didn't score more than 400 runs and averaged below 30. However, Rohit's captaincy is unquestionable as he led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles after taking over the captaincy baton from Ricky Ponting in 2013.

'MI landed on the consensus of looking beyond Rohit Sharma': Uthappa

Robin Uthappa believes that Rohit Sharma's unsuccessful stint as captain and batter in the last three seasons might have compelled Mumbai Indians management to look beyond him. Former Indian cricketer felt that narrative in the fans' minds changed after Rohit led India to ODI World Cup Final last year.

"So there is a reason MI landed on this consensus that maybe we have to look beyond Rohit. Maybe this conversation came about at the end of the last season. Immediately there were conversations in different directions" he said.

"Then Rohit Sharma's success happened in the ODI World Cup. His greatness and gloriousness as a captain came through. The conversation around his success as a captain began last year and the narrative was thrown up in the air but was yet to land but for Mumbai Indians, it landed last year itself perhaps." Uthappa added.

For the first time since IPL 2013, Rohit Sharma is playing purely as a batter in the ongoing season of the tournament. The 36-year-old is in a good form as he has amassed 297 runs, including a century, at an average of 49.50 in seven matches.

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