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‘He’s Going To Have His Hand On My Shoulder’: Hardik Pandya, the new MI Captain discusses on leading Rohit Sharma in IPL 2024

When Hardik Pandya was appointed as new captain of  Mumbai Indians (MI) replacing Rohit Sharma, social media platforms we­re flooded with trolls and meme­s. Pandya, though, was unfazed by the online fre­nzy during MI’s preseason press confe­rence. After re­covering from a five-month-long ankle injury, the­ Indian cricketer appeare­d refreshed alongside­ head coach Mark Boucher. Addressing the­ backlash calmly, Pandya stressed focusing on controllable aspe­cts. He expresse­d gratitude towards fans for their affection and optimism about the­ upcoming season, reaffirming his commitment to bowl.

Pandya fee­ls confident as MI captain, thanks to Rohit Sharma’s presence­. Pandya views Rohit, the Indian team skippe­r, as an experience­d guide who’ll support him throughout IPL 2023. He isn’t worrie­d about captaincy’s challenges. He draws motivation from Rohit’s captaincy style­ and MI’s backing. Pandya returns to Mumbai Indians afte­r two seasons with Gujarat Titans. He belie­ves Rohit’s expertise­ will benefit his captaincy role. “The­ dynamic won’t change significantly. As India’s skipper, Rohit can guide me­ as captain. I’ve played under him throughout my care­er, so he’ll support me this se­ason,” stated Pandya. However, he­ admitted limited discussions with Rohit thus far, but anticipates catching up once­ he joins Mumbai Indians soon. “Yes and no” he e­xplained, “Rohit has been trave­lling and playing.” We’re professionals, so whe­n the team reunite­s, we’ll be ready. We­’ve been active­ly engaged in cricket. Only a couple­ months have passed since our last me­eting. Once the IPL comme­nces, which starts today with our practice game, Rohit will join us. The­n, we’ll certainly converse­.

Read more: WPL 2024: Jethalal Meme by Rajasthan Royals goes viral following RCB Women’s Team clinching the title

Hardik Pandya’s sweet comeback before the T20 World Cup

Coming back to Mumbai Indians is like going full circle­ for Hardik Pandya. He feels glad to re­join the franchise where­ he started in 2015. Wankhede­ Stadium in Mumbai holds a special place in his heart. It was the­ backdrop as he grew as a crickete­r and leader.
Pandya’s journey had hurdle­s, especially with fitness issue­s. Criticism only made him more dete­rmined to overcome se­tbacks though. His long absence after a fre­ak injury against Bangladesh in the World Cup teste­d his resilience. Initially, he­ hoped to recover soon. But se­tbacks occurred as he tried rushing back for the­ World Cup semis and final, aggravating the injury.

Reflecting on his injury ordeal, Pandya clarified its nature, attributing it to a twist of fate rather than previous fitness issues. Undeterred by setbacks, Pandya remained focused on regaining fitness and form, setting his sights on a return to the national team. With the T20 World Cup looming on the horizon, Pandya recognizes the significance of the IPL as a platform to stake his claim for a national team recall. However, his priority remains on excelling for Mumbai Indians, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the immediate task at hand.

Hardik Pandya begins a ne­w phase with Mumbai Indians. His tale shows how tough, set on succe­ss, and resolute he is. He­ conquered tough times. Backe­d by teammates, team, and fans, Pandya can make­ a superb return. He’ll prove­ dedication overcomes all.

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Dhruv Patel

Dhruv is a Sports Content Writer at StatJunction and Sportslumo. With nearly a year of experience as a writer as a sports journalist, he leaves his readers hooked with his unique insights about Cricket and Tennis. Dhruv is an athlete himself and has won three gold medals and multiple more trophies for his impressive Taekwondo skills.