After Rohit, Hardik Pandya Will Lead Mumbai Indians, Feels Former MI Player


(MENAFN- IANS) Surat, Dec 11 (IANS) The Captaincy conundrum in Team India's white-ball squad still remains a puzzle, however, with regards to Hardik Pandya taking the reins of Mumbai Indians following the era of Rohit Sharma seems pretty evident.

Having rejoined the Mumbai Indians squad following a two-year stint with the Gujarat Titans, where he led the franchise to an IPL title in 2021, Hardik brings "leadership" experience to the table. With Mumbai Indians, he was a major force to reckon with, winning four IPL titles (2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020).

Former Sri Lanka bowler Dilhara Fernando feels Hardik should captain Mumbai Indians since he has the "leadership" qualities to lead a side.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, Fernando, who was part of the Mumbai Indians IPL franchise between 2008 and 2011, spoke about Mumbai Indians' culture.

"I think Hardik going to MI is a good choice because he has the leadership qualities, I think after Rohit Sharma, he'll lead Mumbai Indians that's what I feel," said Fernando.

"We always have been very competitive we take every game seriously and the dressing room environment was fantastic where senior players used to share their experiences with the young guys. During my era, it was a really good experience for me," he added.

Hardik's journey with Mumbai Indians began in 2015, and his stellar performances earned him a spot in the Indian national team in 2016. He played a pivotal role in Mumbai Indians' IPL triumphs, showcasing his prowess from 2015 to 2021.

Former West Indies batter Dwayne Smith, who won the IPL title with Mumbai Indians in 2013, said Hardik's inclusion ahead of IPL 2024 has made Mumbai Indians a "little" stronger.

"Mumbai Indians have a very good culture, we had the belief, we had so many good players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, and Dinesh Karthik. So it is good to see him go back. I think it will make them a little stronger," Smith told IANS in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2023 season.

The IPL 2024 Auction is slated to take place on December 19 in Dubai.

Mumbai Indians Retained Players: Akash Madhwal, Arjun Tendulkar, Dewald Brevis, Ishan Kishan, Jason Behrendorff, Jasprit Bumrah, Kumar Kartikeya Singh, N. Tilak Varma, Nehal Wadhera, Piyush Chawla, Rohit Sharma, Romario Shepherd (T), Shams Mulani, Surya Kumar Yadav, Tim David, Vishnu Vinod, Hardik Pandya (T)

--IANS

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