Mumbai: In an important development, five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians have announced fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya as their captain for the 2024 season of the tournament, thus replacing its long-time skipper, opener Rohit Sharma, in the leadership role.
The franchise said in a statement that making Hardik as captain is a part of its significant leadership transition ahead of 2024 IPL season, with an eye on the future. The announcement comes just ahead of the IPL 2024 player auction to be held in Dubai on December 19.
“It is part of legacy building and staying true to the MI philosophy of being future-ready. Mumbai Indians have always been blessed with exceptional leadership right from Sachin to Harbhajan and Ricky to Rohit, who while contributing to the immediate success have always had an eye on strengthening the team for the future.”
“It is in keeping with this philosophy that Hardik Pandya will assume captaincy of Mumbai Indians for the IPL 2024 season. We express our gratitude to Rohit Sharma for his exceptional leadership; his tenure as the captain of the Mumbai Indians since 2013 has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mahela Jayawardene, Global Head of Performance, Mumbai Indians.
Hardik led Gujarat to the IPL title in 2022 in their debut season, and was the Player of the Match in the final against Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. In 2023, Gujarat made the IPL final for the second time in as many seasons under Hardik’s captaincy, where they finished runners up to Chennai Super Kings.
In both IPL 2022 and 2023 seasons, Gujarat had also topped the points table in the league stage under Hardik. Later, on November 25, Hardik was traded from Gujarat to Mumbai, his first IPL franchise, a day after the retentions window came to an end.
It also marks the end of an era – of Rohit’s ten-year reign of captaining Mumbai and leading them to five IPL titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Rohit developed into an astute leader ever since he took over mid-way from Ricky Ponting in the 2013 IPL season and earned widespread praise for making bowling and fielding placement changes quickly, with an emphasis on being tactically sharp and firmly controlling the proceedings of the game.
Overall, Rohit captained in 158 IPL matches, winning 87 games, losing 67 matches and four fixtures ending in a tie, with his win percentage standing at 55.06. “His leadership has not only brought unparalleled success to the team but has also solidified his place as one of the finest captains in the history of the IPL. Under his guidance, MI became one of the most successful and loved teams ever.”
“We will look forward to his guidance and experience on and off the field to further strengthen MI. We welcome Hardik Pandya as the new captain of MI and wish him all the very best,” concluded Jayawardene.