Hardik Pandya and MI head coach Mark Boucher refused to reply when the media asked them about Rohit’s removal as captain.

With the Indian Premier League (IPL) just around the corner, the Mumbai Indians (MI) continue to face scrutiny over their decision to replace five-time IPL-winning captain Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya.

Hardik’s return to MI after a successful stint with the Gujarat Titans (GT) was initially met with excitement. However, the announcement of his captaincy, ending Rohit’s decade-long reign, sparked distaste in the community.

This controversy took centre stage at the franchise’s first press conference of the season, with head coach Mark Boucher and the newly appointed captain Hardik facing the media.

When a journalist directly asked Boucher about the reason for the change in leadership, the coach remained silent, and Hardik offered no comment either. This silence added fuel to the fire of dissatisfaction. Watch their reaction in the video below:

Interestingly, reports surfaced about a possible captaincy clause in Hardik’s contract, which facilitated his return to MI. However, neither Hardik nor Boucher addressed this speculation.

However, last month, Boucher attempted to explain the decision, emphasising a desire to see a more focused Rohit at the crease.

“I think it was purely a cricketing decision. We saw the window period to get Hardik back as a player. For me, it’s a transition phase. A lot of people don’t understand that in India, people get quite emotional, but you know you take the emotions away from it,” Boucher said on the Smash Sports Podcast. 

“It is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person and as a player. This is the opportunity for him to step up as a player. We believe he got some great value to add and just go out there and enjoy it without the hype of being a captain,” added the head coach.

Though things remain unexplained, the Mumbai Indians camp is gearing up to bag their sixth IPL trophy, with Hardik leading the squad. They will start their campaign by facing the Gujarat Titans on March 24th.

Last Updated on March 18, 2024