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Mumbai Indians players make their stance clear with Rohit Sharma videos on Instagram stories

If there was any doubt Rohit Sharma’s value among the MI players, the Instagram stories of Vishnu Vinod, Kumar Kartikeya, and Akash Madhwal erased them all.

Is everything alright in the Mumbai Indians family? It doesn’t seem so. Even the ones dismissing things as social media furore were kind of forced to think otherwise when newly-appointed MI captain Hardik Pandya and head coach Mar Boucher bypassed, dodged, and ducked a few hard-hitting questions related to the MI captaincy change and Rohit Sharma in their pre-IPL media interaction.

Rohit Sharma bats during a practice session(Mumbai Indians)

It all started when Pandya was traded from Gujarat Titans to MI ahead of the auctions for this year. It should have been a move that rejoiced the MI fans. After all, Pandya made a name for himself at MI only. But circumstances which led to Pandya’s trade were not the ideal one. Reports started circulating that GT, the franchise which got great success in the last two seasons under Pandya’s leadership, were not at all willing to let their captain go. On the other hand, Pandya reportedly kept a captaincy clause in his transfer, which meant he would only agree to join MI if he was named as captain.

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Weeks after the trade was confirmed, Pandya was named MI captain replacing Rohit Sharma and since then there has been no end to speculations. Rohit, IPL’s joint-most successful captain with five titles to his name, will become the first current Indian captain to play under his teammate in a franchise. The only other instance of the same was when then-India white-ball captain MS Dhoni played a season of IPL as only a player of the Rising Super Giants. But then, his replacement was not an Indian cricketer. It was Australia’s Steve Smith who led RPSG in IPL 2017.

Where does this leave the MI squad? If there was any doubt Rohit’s image in the minds of the MI players, the Instagram stories of youngsters Vishnu Vinod, Kumar Kartikeya, and Akash Madhwal were enough to erase all of them. Vishnu, Kartikeya, and Madhwal shared the video of Rohit’s first nets session with MI ahead of IPL 2024 on their respective Isnta handles.

Kumar Kartikeya’s Instagram Story

Hardik says Rohit will be a guiding force

“It will not be any different, he will always be there to help me. You mentioned that he is the captain of the Indian team, which helps me because this team, what it has achieved, it has achieved under him”…from now onwards, it is (about) what he has achieved, I just have to carry forward that,” Pandya said.

“I don’t think it will be any awkward or any different. It will be nice feeling because we have been playing for 10 years. I have played my whole career under him and he is going to have his hand on my shoulder throughout the season,” he added.

Pandya admitted his move of leaving the Gujarat Titans’ captaincy and replacing Rohit at the helm in Mumbai Indians did upset a section of fans.”The backlash…To be very honest we respect fans but at the same time, we focus on the sport and what is required. I focus on the controllables and I do not focus on what I cannot control,” Pandya said.

“At the same time, we are very grateful to fans. A lot of fame and love comes from them and they have every right and I respect their opinion,” he added.


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