IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma will have his hand on my shoulder, says Hardik Pandy

Rohit Sharma will have his hand on my shoulder, says Hardik Pandy

Hardik Pandya broke his silence on the controversy related to Rohit Sharma

Months after being announced captain of Mumbai Indians for the upcoming Indian Premier League, Hardik Pandya broke his silence on the controversy related to Rohit Sharma’s removal from the skipper’s position of MI. Signed as a trade from Gujarat Titans, which he opted to join 2 years ago, Hardik returned to MIs.

Since the day he replaced Indian captain Rohit Sharma as the Mumbai Indians skipper after being traded by the MI from Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has been trolled heavily by the fans, with the franchise also being the subject of several memes.

However, at MI’s pre-season presser on Monday, Hardik Pandya, looking fit and fresh after recovering from an ankle injury that kept him away from the game for five months, looked relaxed,with head coach Mark Boucher seated beside him.

Asked if the social media backlash following his appointment as the new MI captain affected him, Pandya, while confirming that he will bowl during the season, said, “I don’t focus on things that I can’t control. At the same time, we are grateful to the fans as a lot of fame and love comes from them. I respect their opinion, but at the same time, I am very excited.”

Pandya gracefully talked about carrying forward his predecessor’s rich legacy, which saw MI winning five titles, in IPL-2024, while saying that “I know he will have his hand on my shoulder all through the season.”

Having undergone a lengthy rehabilitation for the ankle injury he suffered in the ODI World Cup at home in October, Pandya was confident that his body would be able to withstand the rigours of the IPL.

“I have no issues with my body, I plan to play all the games. In the IPL, I have not missed many games anyway. Technically, I was out for three months. It was a freak injury and it had nothing to do with my earlier injuries. I tried to stop the ball and ended up getting injured,” said Pandya.

Pandya talked about the “wonderful, warm, exciting welcome” that he received at MI after coming back to a franchise where his IPL journey started. “It’s been amazing coming back, coming back to where it all started and the journey is going to continue. The welcome was wonderful, very warm, very exciting,” Pandya said.

The last two years have seen Hardik’s rise both as a player and captain as GT emerged champions in their debut season and finished runners-up in the previous edition. There were plenty of instances where he led Indian cricket team during that period too and his captaincy stocks remained on a bull run.

“It was a freak injury. When I twisted my ankle, it looked like a normal niggle. I went for a scan and went straight to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) next day to start the process. During that period, I pushed myself to return to the team but ended up aggravating the injury,” adds Hardik.

This IPL, I will play as an all-rounder and try to finish as many games as possible, enjoy the position I have always loved,” says Hardik.



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