Hardik Pandya's Take on Rohit Playing Under Him

Hardik Pandya's Take on Rohit Playing Under Him

It's never easy to swap teams in these times of passionate fans who identify with their idols and star players, and therefore leads to a backlash from the supporters.

Hardik Pandya has faced this situation since the day he decided to return to Mumbai Indians, the franchise he started his Indian Premier League career with, after playing for Gujarat Titans for a couple of seasons.

The backlash had intensified when Mumbai Indians management decided to make Hardik Pandya the captain of the team instead of Rohit Sharma, who had led MI for a decade and won titles for them.

So, one week before the start of the Indian Premier League's 17th season as Hardik Pandya sat down his first pre-season press conference as Mumbai Indians captain, he faced a barrage of questions on one topic he would have ideally loved to avoid -- captaincy and Rohit.

But the new captain of Mumbai handled the topic quite well, expressing his respect for the franchise and Rohit, under whom he has played all his cricket so far.

Pandya said it will not be awkward for him to lead a team which will have Rohit as a key member.

He said he rather sees Rohit as a senior who will always have his back and put his hand across his shoulder whenever it is needed.

"it won't be any different. I will carry forward what this team has achieved under him. I played my whole career under him, It won't be awkward. I know I will always have his hand on my shoulder," Hardik Pandya told reporters on Monday.

Asked if he has spoken to the Team India skipper since taking over the captaincy, Hardik said Rohit has been busy with the team and he will have a chat with him as they get closer to the IPL.

"He's been busy, travelling and playing. Been couple of months since we have not seen each other. Once he comes, we will definitely have a chat," said Hardik.

The 30-year-old all-rounder said it was exciting to be back with Mumbai Indians, the franchise at which he started his IPL career way back in 2015.

"Everything I have known from 2015 to now has been through this journey and my whole life changed from there. The journey has been full of dreams and I never thought I would reach here. Really grateful to come back here and play on the ground which is my favourite ground," said Hardik.

He said he is looking forward to stepping out again for Mumbai Indians and said though the team composition and management has changed in the last couple of years he was away, the core group was still there and there have been exciting additions, "but the name, the colour remains the same".

He said he is looking forward to knowing and playing with the new exciting talents in the team and hoped that Mumbai Indians would do well in this edition of IPL 2024.

"We can only give the team our best, and we can do is to perform to the best of our abilities, winning and losing is not something we can control," said Hardik adding that they will do their best and whether that will lead to Mumbai Indians winning their sixth IPL title is not in their control.