A captaincy romance of Rohit & Hardik - The India Saga



A captaincy romance of Rohit & Hardik

We all have seen Bahubali and like it very much. One scene of the movie that made a special place…

A captaincy romance of Rohit & Hardik

We all have seen Bahubali and like it very much. One scene of the movie that made a special place in the audience’s hearts was when Rajmata Shivgami Devi appointed Bhallaldev the ruler by replacing Bahubali. However, the kingdom does not accept him and considers Bahubali their leader. The ongoing edition of the world’s most famous cricketing league, IPL, witnessed the same incident when the newly appointed captain of Mumbai Indians, Hardik Pandya, was booed by the fans. Former leader Rohit Sharma is loved by all. 

In the 17th session, MI’s first match was against the Gujarat Titans; Hardik Pandya had a special connection with both of the teams. Where MI helped him make a superstar, GT allowed him to explore his captaincy skills. In the first match, when he came out for the toss against his former subordinate, he was booed by the crowd, and the fans started chanting Rohit-Rohit. 

In December 2023, when the trading window was open, MI traded back their former all-rounder, Hardik Pandya and made him the leader of the ship for the upcoming session by replacing the most successful captain in the history of IPL. The decision faced backlash, and the most successful teams started losing their fan base; in just 24 hours, Mumbai lost more than 1 Million followers on Instagram. The netizens criticised the decision, and social media witnessed a current wave of support for the captain of the Indian team. 

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This is not the first instance of trading in a sports league; it is very common in football, baseball, and basketball. But this is something new for Indian fans, and their behaviour shows they do not digest such things. For Indian fans, cricket is a religion, and the players they love are like idols to them. If anything happens like this, they react emotionally. Fans forget that Rohit Sharma is still a legend and captain of their National team, and after 2 months, he led their team in the World Cup. 

Amid all this, experts criticise Hardik for the decision he made. In the first match against GT, he bowled the first over despite having the world’s number-one bowler on his side. In the second inning of the game, when Mumbai was in a comfortable position, he sent Tim David ahead of him against Rashid Khan and made the situation complicated for other batters. Veterans like Irfan Pathan, Virendra Sehwag, and Kevin Peterson take a dig at MI’s captain for his decision. 

In his second match as a skipper for MI, he gave only one over to Bumrah when the opposition was taking off the scoreboard with a run rate of 13 per over. He found himself clueless in the Hyderabad storm. He also played a defensive knock of 20 in 24 balls, where all other players batted with a strike rate of 200+. Now, he is the captain with an unwanted record of conceding 275+ runs in the history of IPL. 

Still, there is a long way to go before he can turn down the table; he has 12 matches in his pocket. For Hardik, it’s not just a test of his captaincy but also his character. He has to prove so many things to the fans, players, management, and, most importantly, himself. During all this, the relationship between Rohit & Hardik is not affected, which is a positive thing for MI. However, during all this, fans must also understand that it is just a league sport and management’s decision is respected. This is just the beginning of trade; they will see so many things like this in the future as the league culture evolves.