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‘One day, Gill might also leave GT…’: Mohammed Shami’s upfront first reaction to Hardik Pandya’s MI switch

Mohammed Shami didn’t mince his words as he talked about Hardik Pandya’s departure from Gujarat Titans ahead of the 2024 IPL.

The 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed a major shakeup as Gujarat Titans’ captain, Hardik Pandya, made headlines with his move back to the Mumbai Indians. Having started his career with MI, Hardik was initially released by the franchise after the 2021 season. However, the 2022 season saw him leading the newly formed Gujarat Titans. Under his captaincy, the team clinched its maiden title in the debut season and reached another final the following year. Despite his successful stint with the Titans, Hardik’s return to Mumbai Indians marked one of the most talked-about trades in IPL history.

Mohammed Shami spoke about Hardik Pandya’s departure, and Shubman Gill’s ascension as captain in detail(Files)

Notably, he rejoined his former club and took on the responsibility of leading the side, stepping into the shoes of the iconic Rohit Sharma, who took the MI to five titles as captain.

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Following Hardik Pandya’s switch, the leadership mantle at Gujarat Titans was handed over to the talented young opener, Shubman Gill. In response to the trade deal, Mohammed Shami, the star pacer who played a pivotal role for Gujarat Titans and secured the Purple Cap in the 2023 IPL edition, shared his perspective on Hardik’s decision. Shami emphasized that such moves are a common aspect of a player’s professional journey, downplaying any significance attached to the trade.

“See, it doesn’t matter who is leaving. You have to see the team’s balance. Hardik was there, he captained us well. He took us to the final in both editions and won us the title in 2022. But Gujarat hadn’t signed Hardik for a lifetime. It’s his decision. Shubman is made captain now, he will also gain experience. Some day, he might also leave. And it’s a part of the game. Players come and players go,” Shami told News24.

“When you are captain, it’s important to handle the responsibility while taking care of your performances. And that responsibility has been assigned to Shubman this time. He might have some load in his mind, but the players are more or less the same. So he doesn’t need to worry. You need to manage players well and extract the best out of your players.”

Shami enjoyed a solid 2023 for both the Titans and the Indian team. While he picked 28 wickets throughout the season for the franchise, Shami also ended as the highest wicket-taker in the 2023 World Cup, securing 24 dismissals to his name despite missing the first three matches.


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