IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma playing under me at MI won't be awkward, says Hardik Pandya

IPL 2024: Speaking to the press for the first time after taking over as Mumbai Indians captain, Haridk Pandya opened up about how Rohit Sharma would help him in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma playing under me at MI won't be awkward, says Hardik Pandya
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Mumbai Indians' newly-appointed captain Hardik Pandya said he is looking forward to working closely with Rohit Sharma in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League and that it won't feel awkward for him to lead the Indian captain for the first time in his career. Hardik took over from Rohit as the captain of the 5-time champions in a move that left quite a few surprised.

Hardik Pandya said he hasn't yet spoken in detail about the upcoming season to Rohit Sharma, adding that he would do so in their training session. The skipper confirmed that Mumbai Indians were set to play their first practice match ahead of the IPL 2024 season on Monday, March 18.

"First of all, it won't be any different because he is going to be there to help me out, if I need any help. At the same time, he is the captain of the Indian team, which helps me because this team, what he has achieved under his captaincy, from now onwards, I want to carry forward what he has achieved," Hardik Pandya said.

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IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma playing under me at MI won't be awkward, says Hardik Pandya

"It won't be awkward or anything different. It will be a nice experience. I have played all my career under his captaincy. I know he is going to have a hand on my shoulder always, throughout the season," he added.

In a move that shocked the cricket fraternity, Mumbai Indians announced Hardik Pandya as their captain for IPL 2024 after he was traded in from Gujarat Titans. While the historic trade deal itself came as a surprise, Hardik taking over from Rohit left Mumbai Indians fans divided.

In fact, a large section of fans expressed their disappointment at Rohit Sharma losing captaincy and the social media followers of the 5-time champions dipped after the announcement.

"Backlash bit. To be very honest, we respect fans. At the same time, we focus on sport. I control the contralables. I don't focus on what I can't control. At the same time, I am very grateful to fans. They have every right to say what they say. I respect their opinion. At the same time, we will focus on doing well," Hardik Pandya said, playing down the negative reaction from fans.

Hardik Pandya has not played competitive cricket at the highest level since getting ruled out of the ODI World Cup after suffering an injury during a league game against Bangladesh.

Hardik Pandya was playing under Rohit Sharma in the ODI World Cup and the all-rounder is all set to be part of Rohit Sharma-led T20 World Cup team in June.

"Yes, and no (Spoken to Rohit Sharma?). He has been travelling. He has been playing. It’s been only a couple of months since we have not seen each other. Whenever the IPL starts, which is from today onwards. Once he comes, we will have a chat," he added.

Hardik Pandya has been training with full intensity in the Mumbai Indians pre-season camp over the last week. Rohit Sharma, who led India to a 4-1 win in a recently-concluded Test series against England, is expected to join the camp sooner than later.

Mumbai Indians will begin their campaign against Hardik Pandya's former team, Gujarat Titans, at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday, March 24. 

Source: India Today

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