Rohit Sharma is one of the most successful captains in the 16 seasons of the Indian Premier League, winning 6 trophies in all his years as captain, second only to former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. However, the veteran was replaced as MI captain by Hardik Pandya in December last year and Rohit will only be available as a batsman for the upcoming IPL season.

The decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya had evoked strong reactions from the Mumbai Indians fan base, while key MI players like Suryakumar Yadav signalled their unhappiness with the move through cryptic posts on social media platforms.

However, almost 3 months after the decision was taken, MI coach Mark Boucher has explained the reasoning behind the captaincy change for one of the most successful teams in the IPL. Speaking on the Smash Sports podcast, Boucher said it was purely a “cricketing decision” to make Hardik Pandya the captain, while noting that there was no easy way to remove Rohit Sharma from the captaincy.

Notably, Boucher’s statement also drew a response from Rohit’s wife Ritika, who has largely kept her opinions on the matter to herself. Replying to the Instagram video of Boucher’s explanation on removing Rohit Sharma as captain, Ritika wrote, “So many things wrong with this.”

Mark Boucher’s explanation on removing Rohit as MI captain: 

Speaking on the podcast, Boucher said, “One thing I did pick up with Ro (Rohit) is that he is a fantastic guy. I mean he’s been captaining for ages and he’s done really well for Mumbai Indians and for India as well. He walks into a place and there’s just cameras in it and he’s so busy and he hasn’t had probably the best couple of seasons of late with the bat but he’s done well as a captain.”

Adding further, Boucher said, “And I just thought you know when we’re speaking with the whole Mumbai Indians group, we thought that maybe this is the opportunity for him to step in for his last year or so. We believe he’s got some great value to add and just go out there and actually enjoy it without the hype of being a captain. He is still going to captain India so that hype’s gonna be there but when he steps into the IPL maybe just taking that extra bit of pressure off him as a captain and maybe we get the best out of Rohit Sharma.” 

“We want to see him playing with a smile on his face, spending a bit of time with his beautiful family. I think there’s no easy way to do it” the former South African player added. 

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Published: 06 Feb 2024, 02:00 PM IST

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