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‘Will MI stars show same intensity for Hardik as they did for Rohit Sharma?’: Pandya handed ominous ‘respect’ warning

The former India cricketer asserted that the big captaincy move by MI is understandable but Pandya has a big task ahead of earning the respect of his teammates.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra raised a big question on whether the Mumbai Indians stars will play with the same intensity under new skipper Hardik Pandya as they used to do in the past when Rohit Sharma was the captain. The appointment of Hardik as MI captain in his first season after his return has put the franchise under the scanner as Rohit was sacked despite leading them to joint-most five IPL titles.

Hardik Pandya will lead Mumbai Indians next season.

Hardik’s appointment as skipper has not gone down well with some cricket fans as several reports suggest that a couple of senior players also expressed their displeasure over the move.

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The flamboyant all-rounder has already started training in the MI camp ahead of the season, while Rohit, who recently led India to a 4-1 Test series win, is yet to join the team.

Chopra asserted that the big captaincy move by MI is understandable but Pandya has a big task ahead of earning the respect of his teammates.

“I understand the thought process behind going for a new captain and you got a great asset in a quality pace bowling all-rounder. But he will have to earn that respect from his peers,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

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“Will they play with the same intensity for Hardik Pandya as they did for Rohit? They will play for MI but the new captain will need to command respect and not demand respect,” he added.

Mumbai qualified for the playoffs last season but they failed to play consistent cricket and were knocked out by Hardik’s former franchise Gujarat Titans.

The former cricketer turned commentator, gave his analysis of Mumbai Indians’s form in recent season.

“The past couple of seasons haven’t been great for them. However, if you bring them into a situation where they have to close games, they can certainly do that,” he said.

Meanwhile, he hailed the franchise to perform better in pressure situations.

“Winning is in their DNA. You put them in a corner with a make-or-break situation, this team makes it while many break it.”

The five-time IPL champions will start their campaign against Gujarat Titans at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad where they will look to seek revenge for their defeat in last season’s qualifier.


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