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Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma together? Mumbai Indians’ team video creates furore after captain’s ‘awkwardness’ remark

Shortly after Hardik Pandya’s ‘it won’t feel awkward’ remark on Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians released a team video which created a social-media furore

There have rumours and reports of a rift in the Mumbai Indians dressing room after Rohit Sharma was shockingly removed from the captaincy last December for the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Hardik Pandya, who was acquired via trade from Gujarat Titans in late November, was named the new skipper. Some media reports talked about a certain ‘captaincy clause’ in Hardik’s contract, while other mentioned that Rohit was unhappy with the franchise’s call. Amid the talk, Mumbai Indians released a team video before the start of the 17th season which featured Rohit and Hardik together for the first time since the announcement, and it came shortly after the India all-rounder admitted that ‘it won’t feel awkward’ to have the veteran Indian opener around.

Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma together in Mumbai Indians’ new video

Rohit led Mumbai Indians from 2013 to 2023, where the franchise won the IPL title five times. However, with his diminishing returns to the bat served as a reason, Rohit was removed from the leadership role. The decision did not go down well with cricket fans and most veteran cricketers, thus sparking a backlash.

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Addressing the talk in the pre-tournament presser, Hardik reckoned that he will have Rohit’s backing throughout the season with Mumbai eyeing the start of a new era.

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“It won’t be any different, because he will be there to help out if I need his help…” Hardik said on Monday. “He is the captain of the Indian team, which helps me because what this team has achieved, it has achieved under him. From now onwards, it will be about carrying forward what he has achieved, so there will be nothing awkward. I have played for 10 years under him and I know he is going to have his hand on my shoulders throughout the season.”

Shortly after the press conference, MI dropped a team video on their anthem for the IPL 2024 season, which featured most of the regulars of the franchise, along with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. However, it was the final part of the one minute and 32 second clip that caught the attention of social media users as Rohit and Hardik were part of the same frame for the first time since that big announcement.

While most MI fans were elated seeing the two senior cricketers together, others pointed out the gap between the two as Hardik and Rohit were seated on that sofa.

Hardik Pandya’s ‘Yes-No’ suspense on Rohit Sharma

Among the first queries made by the press on Monday was whether Hardik had a word with Rohit since taking over the captaincy duty and the all-rounder kept the suspense alive.

He said: “Yes and no to that, because he has been travelling and playing. We haven’t seen each other for the last couple of months. We are all professionals, and by the time the team comes together and once he comes in, we will definitely have a chat.”

Mumbai Indians will begin their IPL 2024 campaign on March 24 with captain Hardik taking on his former franchise Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.


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