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“It wouldn’t have been easy to replace a captain of Rohit Sharma’s stature”- Anjum Chopra on Hardik Pandya being MI’s skipper
By SMCS - Mar 3, 2024 9:00 am
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Former Indian cricketer Anjum Chopra has opened up on the importance of understanding Mumbai Indians’ (MI) perspective behind replacing Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as their new captain. MI traded in Hardik from Gujarat Titans before the IPL 2024 auction and the move created a buzz on social media and fans as well. And, when the all-rounder was announced as the franchise’s new captain, the decision made headlines.

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya

Speaking to TOI, Chopra said, “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.”

In a recent interview with Smash Sports, Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher explained the reason behind Hardik Pandya replacing Rohit Sharma as captain as well. However, Rohit’s wife Ritika commented on the Instagram video suggesting the explanation was wrong and that added more fuel in it. And, Anjum Chopra also shared her views on this. She feels it is very important to look at the future of MI and make a tough decision if needed.

“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. Let’s not run into emotions. It’s about balancing things considering the present and future of the team,” Chopra stated.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

She also believes Team India will only be strengthened with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in their T20I squad ahead of the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA in June. Notably, Kohli and Rohit made a comeback to the T20I team after a gap of 14 months, fueling a debate about their future.

“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 Chopra concluded. “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 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.”