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I don’t think Hardik, as a captain, is a finished product yet: Aakash Chopra | Cricket News

I don’t think Hardik, as a captain, is a finished product yet: Aakash Chopra | Cricket News

India’s former opening batter Akash Chopra believes that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is still in the process of becoming a polished captain in the realm of cricket, suggesting that Mumbai Indians will need to provide Hardik with significant guidance to mould him into an accomplished leader for the team.
On December 14, Mumbai Indians officially declared Hardik as the new captain for the upcoming IPL 2024season.This marked the conclusion ofRohit Sharma‘s illustrious ten-year tenure as the team’s captain, a role he assumed midway through the 2013 IPL season.

Hardik led Gujarat Titans to victory in IPL 2022, securing the title in their debut season. He was also named the ‘Player of the Match’ in the final against Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. In the 2023 season, Gujarat, under Hardik’s captaincy, reached the IPL final for the second consecutive time but finished as runners-up to the Chennai Super Kings.

Notably, in both IPL 2022 and 2023 seasons, Gujarat topped the points table during the league stage under Hardik’s leadership.

“It’s my understanding and not some inside news. When Hardik (Pandya) decided to move from Gujarat, captaincy may have been a part of the deal. This decision would have been definitely communicated to Rohit Sharma as well. Rohit would have also been briefed about Mumbai Indians’ future plans,” said Chopra on JioCinema’s daily sports show ‘#AAKASHVANI’.

“I feel Ashish Nehra had a tremendous role in making Hardik the captain he was at Gujarat Titans. So Mumbai’s job is cut out. They have to provide inputs at a different level for Hardik to replicate them on the field, because I don’t think Hardik, as a captain, is a finished product yet.”

Rohit Sharma steered Mumbai to victory in five IPL seasons – 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. Throughout his captaincy, Rohit led the team in 158 IPL matches, achieving success in 87 games, facing defeat in 67 matches and encountering four ties. His win percentage stands at 55.06.
Chopra expresses the sentiment that it marks the conclusion of an era as Mumbai Indians now set their sights on the future.
“Rohit is a legend. It’s an end of an era. He led the team for 10 years and won five IPL titles. He worked a lot for this and also earned a lot of fame. But there comes a time when you start thinking about the future. To be fair, the last two years have been average for MI, considering the high standards they have set for themselves.”
“While it’s extremely important to give someone a chance at the right time, it’s even more critical to decide when to let go of someone. There has been talk on social media that Rohit should have been allowed to leave on his own terms or may be allowed to lead MI in one match before Hardik was asked to take over. I personally don’t subscribe to it. There is no one bigger than a team,” he concluded.
(With IANS inputs)

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