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Anjum on Hardik Pandya replacing Rohit Sharma as MI captain

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NEW DELHI: Mumbai Indians reacquired the services of star all-rounder Hardik Pandya following his impressive two-year tenure with Gujarat Titans. The Mumbai-based franchise appointed Pandya as the captain, taking over from the stalwart

Rohit Sharma

, who had led the team to five IPL titles.
Rohit kicked off his IPL career with Deccan Chargers (now defunct) and played two seasons with them before making a move to Mumbai Indians in 2011.

Rohit has been part of the Mumbai-based franchise since then and has captained the side to five IPL trophies, join-most with Chennai Super Kings (five titles).

After several years of success, Rohit will be seen playing under the captaincy of new skipper Pandya. While this decision faced criticism on social media, the franchise aimed to introduce a fresh leader, especially considering Rohit’s current age of 36.

Former India women’s cricket team captain Anjum Chopra backed MI’s decision.
“A player’s job is to play the game. You always walk into a team as a player. You never walk into a team as a captain. How we are seeing from the outside, how the franchise is looking at it from the inside, and now players are looking at it, they have their reasons. It wouldn’t have been easy to replace a player and captain of Rohit Sharma’s stature. But someday that will happen,” Anjum told TimesofIndia.com.

“When Rohit was given captaincy for Mumbai Indians, it wouldn’t have been a very easy decision. At that time many stalwarts and experienced players were playing and Rohit was given the captaincy. MI gave him the captaincy because of his ability and Rohit went on to guide MI to five title wins. So, it is not about how we from the outside think, it’s about how franchises from the inside think. Let’s not run into emotions. It’s about balancing things considering the present and future of the team,” she said.
VIRAT, ROHIT BIG BOOST FOR TEAM INDIA
BCCI secretary Jay Shah had cleared the air about India’s T20I captaincy at an event in February, stating that Rohit Sharma will lead Team India in the

T20 World Cup

, to be played in the Caribbean and the USA.
“In 2023 (final) at Ahmedabad, even though we did not win the World Cup after 10 straight wins, we won hearts. I want to promise you that in 2024 (T20 World Cup) in Barbados (venue for the final), under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, ham Bharat ka jhanda gaadenge (we will hoist the Indian flag),” Shah had said.
The last time India won an ICC trophy was more than 10 years ago – the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. They last won the ODI World Cup in 2011, under MS Dhoni’s captaincy.
Anjum said Team India lost the ODI World Cup final but needed the star players like Virat and Rohit in the T20 World Cup.
“When you have quality players like Rohit and Virat, you just can’t question their ability and utilisation. Their presence is enough to boost the team’s confidence. They are accomplished players. They are world-beaters. India will definitely require Virat and Rohit,” Anjum said.
One being asked two players who could play key roles for Rohit in the T20 World Cup this year, Anjum took no time and picked young batting sensations Rinku Singh and Yashasvi Jaiswal.
“Rinku Singh. The way he is performing and looking really good. We have to see how much he is able to sustain, the day he sees or faces any failure, and how he comes back. He is going to stay and be around the team and system. He will get opportunities. He is the one player the entire country looks up to. Yashasvi Jaiswal is another name. Coming from an Under-19 setup, then IPL and now he is just amazing for the Indian senior team,” Anjum signed off.

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