Hardik Pandya’s ‘…no one will forget’ promise for IPL 2024 after replacing Rohit Sharma as MI captain | Cricket

Hardik Pandya is no stranger to attention. There is always buzz whenever he takes to the cricket field, be it for India or in the Indian Premier League (IPL). During his 8-year international career, he has already experienced his fair share of injury-related setbacks. But he always made sure to come back stronger. Something similar is expected from him in the upcoming IPL 2024 which begins next Friday.

Rohit Sharma (left) and Hardik Pandya (HT photo)

However, the spotlight on Panda would be different this time. And his return after five months is not the only reason. In fact, the main reason is its return to Mumbai Indians and that too as captain. The all-rounder who started his IPL career with MI in 2015, will return to the franchise after spending two successful seasons at Gujarat Titans.

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Pandya led GT to their first IPL title in the first attempt of IPL 2022 and took them to the final last year. But in dramatic circumstances, before the auction ahead of this year’s IPL, Pandya was traded to MI. In an even scarier move, he was made captain of MI, replacing Rohit Sharmathe most successful captain in the IPL with five titles to his name.

Rohit is still with MI but he will play purely as a player for the first time in over a decade. To make things more complex, Pandya still plays under Rohit’s captaincy in the Indian team. How will Pandya and Rohit react to this? How will MI fans view this decision?

Pandya knows he has a job to do. And hence, he wants to play a type of cricket that no one will forget.

“The feeling of wearing this color is very special for me. The journey started here, coming home and playing will always be special,” Pandya said in a video posted by the franchise on social media.

“We will ensure that we play a type of cricket that everyone will be proud of and at the same time, it will be an adventure that no one will forget.”

Pandya was welcomed with open arms by MI head coach Mark Boucher, who encouraged him to do well.

“He (Pandya) definitely knows the dressing room better than me. It’s a homecoming of sorts for a few people.

“He has settled in very well and is excited for the season. We are looking forward to seeing him again and winning some games again for Mumbai Indians,” Boucher said in another MI video.

“At the start of every season, everyone is very excited. There are a few new faces, so there is also a bit of nervousness. We would like to prepare for the start of the season.”

MI will open their IPL campaign against GT in Ahmedabad on March 24.

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