In an interview with Smash Sports, Boucher said, “We saw the window period to get Hardik back as a player. For me it’s a transition phase.”
“A lot of people don’t understand in India, people get quite emotional, but you know you take the emotions away from it. I think it’s just more of a cricketing decision that was made, and I do think it is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person as a player. Just let him go out and enjoy and score some good runs,” the former South African crickter added.
The Smash Sports interview was posted on Instagram yesterday and quickly went viral after netizens noticed a comment from Ritika Sajdeh, Rohit Sharma’s wife.
“So many things wrong with this…,” commented Sajdeh .
Earlier former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene also justified MI controversial decision saying, “It is part of legacy building and staying true to the MI philosophy of being future-ready. MI have always been blessed with exceptional leadership right from Sachin to Harbhajan and Ricky to Rohit, who while contributing to the immediate success have always had an eye on strengthening the team for the future.
“It is in keeping with this philosophy that Hardik Pandya will assume captaincy of MI for the IPL-2024 season.”
Hardik was named India’s T20 captain after he proved his leadership credentials in the IPL, having led the Gujarat Titans to the title in their maiden season. Under Hardik, GT also made the IPL final this season.
Notably, Rohit’s IPL performance has waned in recent years. With declining stats in successive seasons, questions have arisen regarding his role at Mumbai Indians and his future in the shortest format of the game. Rohit led India to the ODI World Cup final, showcasing his leadership prowess, but has since taken a hiatus from white-ball cricket, focusing solely on Tests.
Having captained Mumbai Indians for a decade from 2013 to 2023, Rohit led the team to multiple IPL victories. The franchise acknowledged Rohit’s contribution and stated that the leadership change was part of their long-term strategy. Mahela Jayawardene, MI’s global head of performance, elucidated, “The decision to appoint Hardik Pandya as captain aligns with our legacy-building approach and commitment to future readiness.”
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