IPL 2024: Navjot Singh Sidhu shares the potential impact of Rohit Sharma’s captaincy shift on his playing style

The Mumbai Indians (MI) franchise’s decision to appoint Hardik Pandya as captain for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season marked an emotional moment for the fans, considering Rohit Sharma’s remarkable tenure, during which the team clinched the IPL title five times.

Hardik Pandya’s struggles and Mumbai Indians’ batting collapse

However, Pandya faced a challenging test in the match against the Gujarat Titans (GT) on Sunday, where he struggled to make an impact. Upon entering the crease, he fell victim to Umesh Yadav after scoring just 11 runs off 4 balls. Consequently, Mumbai could only muster a total of 162 runs, losing 9 wickets in the process, falling six short of the 169 runs target set by the opposition. Rohit, the former captain, emerged as a beacon of hope for Mumbai with his blazing innings of 43 runs off just 30 balls, but after his dismissal, the team’s batting line-up collapsed.

In a conversation with Star Sports, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who made a commentary comeback after 10 years, lauded the legendary captaincy skills of Rohit. Sidhu expressed confidence that Rohit’s transition from captain to player would not hinder his performance in any way. Drawing from his own experience, Sidhu cited instances where he played alongside multiple former captains in the Indian team, emphasizing that such scenarios are not unprecedented.

“Rohit Sharma is playing as a player, this is not the first time. I have played in such an Indian team where there are five former captains. He was playing with me, I have played among captains like Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Srikkanth, in which I have seen five captains playing together on the field. But no problem happened at that time as we all were playing for the country,” said Sidhu.

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Leadership legacy and transition

Furthermore, Sidhu highlighted that players like MS Dhoni have relinquished their captaincy to others, showcasing the dynamic nature of leadership transitions in cricket. He suggested that Mumbai could have considered making Pandya the captain, similar to Ruturaj Gaikwad‘s case, but opted for a change after evaluating Rohit’s tenure, which didn’t yield an IPL title in three years.

“MS Dhoni has also given his captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Mumbai franchise could also have made Pandya the captain like Ruturaj Gaikwad but no, the franchise saw that Rohit could not get the team any IPL title in three years, he made Pandya the captain. He also said that one has to work hard to become a player like Rohit,” the 60-year-old concluded.

Mumbai’s chance for redemption against Sunrisers Hyderabad

Looking ahead, Mumbai are set to face Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on March 27. The upcoming match presents an opportunity for Mumbai to bounce back and secure a victory against Hyderabad on their home turf.

Also READ: Dates of IPL 2024 playoffs confirmed, final in Chennai on May 26

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