Hardik Pandya to captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024, Rohit's 10-year-reign ends | Crickit
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Hardik Pandya to captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024, Rohit Sharma's 10-year-reign comes to an end

Dec 16, 2023 06:55 AM IST

Mumbai Indians have appointed the returning Hardik Pandya as their captain for the IPL 2024 season, taking over from Rohit Sharma.

In a momentous development, Mumbai Indians have appointed the returning Hardik Pandya as their captain for the IPL 2024 season, taking over the reins from Rohit Sharma after a 10-year stint as skipper. Hardik, who led Gujarat Titans to IPL crown in 2022, was traded back to MI after two years last month and is set to don a new role, succeeding the joint-most successful captain in history of the Indian Premier League. Rohit, along with MS Dhoni, has won the title most times for his franchise – five – but where Sharma stands out is that he achieved it across 10 seasons as compared to MSD's 12.

Hardik Pandya will captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024(Mumbai Indians)
Hardik Pandya will captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024(Mumbai Indians)

"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," Mahela Jayawardene said.

The former Sri Lanka captain's announcement ends all speculations surrounding Hardik's role at the franchise. Having led GT to the IPL title last year and then to a runner-up finish in IPL 2023, Hardik, was expected to bet a bigger role. Just how bigger though, has been answered. Already taken over from Rohit as India's T20I captain – albeit unofficially – Hardik will now usher MI into a new era, hoping of bigger and better things. Between 2013 and 2020, MI, under Rohit won five titles – but with disappointing results in 2022 and 2023, the change in guard was imminent it seems.

Rohit's contributions and Hardik's return

Rohit took over as MI captain from Ricky Ponting midway through IPL 2013, and led the team to its maiden title when they defeated Chennai Super Kings in the final. Rohit is the fourth-highest run scorer in IPL history with 6211, out of 3986 runs have come as captain - across 157 innings at 129.37 SR with 25 fifties. Rohit's tally is the the third-highest among IPL captains after Kohli's 4994 runs and Dhoni's 4660. His successor, Hardik, began his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians in 2015 and has scored 1476 runs for the franchise and taken 42 wickets. Signed as an uncapped player for INR 10 lakh, Pandya became an integral part of the team and was part of MI's title-winning sides in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

Also Read: How Hardik Pandya returned to Mumbai Indians after Gujarat Titans retained Rohit's deputy for IPL 2024

During this period (24 April 2013, when Ponting had stepped down as MI captain) of 2013 and 2023, Rohit led Mumbai to 87 wins in 158 IPL matches, which is the most by any captain in the time frame. Dhoni stands second with 82 wins. He also has more wins as a captain in IPL playoff games (including finals), with 10 wins in 13 such matches, one more than Dhoni (9 out of 15). MI also never lost an IPL final under Rohit in five of those 13 instances where they had made it to the summit clash.

"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. 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," added Jayawardene.

Rohit's role with the franchise becomes all the more crucial. At 36, Rohit's participation in T20s, both for MI and India, has come under the scanner. In fact, the last season, where MI finished fifth and failed to qualify for the Playoffs, was Rohit's worst ever with 268 runs from 14 matches at an average of 19.14. The following season - IPL 2023 - was a shade better with 332 runs from 16 innings but here's an alarming trivia: Rohit has gone without a single half-century in the last two editions of the IPL, raising questions over his effectiveness as a force in T20 cricket.

"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," Jayawardene was quoted as saying as a parting statement in MI's ground-breaking release.

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