Hardik Pandya’s Controversial Journey as a Captain

Mumbai Indians released Hardik Pandya before the IPL 2022 Mega Auction and traded him back for the ongoing IPL 2024 season in November 2023 just before the season’s auction. The Mumbai-Gujarat deal for Hardik Pandya was not done until the last minute when all the released and retained players were officially announced before the IPL 2024 Auction. But later in a couple of hours, the deal was successfully executed and Mumbai also transferred Cameron Green to RCB.

The Return of Hardik Pandya

When MI released Hardik Pandya for 2 seasons IPL 2022 and IPL 2023, Hardik Pandya led the newly made team Gujarat Titans. Gujarat Titans was the most successful team in the last two seasons where they became the IPL 2022 Champions in their debut season and they were the runner-up in IPL 2023. In IPL 2022, Mumbai Indians had their worst-ever season in IPL history where they lost the first 8 matches and first time ended last on the Points Table. But in IPL 2023, Mumbai managed to make it into the playoffs but was thrashed by Hardik-led Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2.

After all this trading drama, a piece of breaking news was published by Mumbai Indians just a couple of days before the IPL 2024 Auction “Hardik Pandya will lead Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024”. Mumbai removed Rohit Sharma as their Captain who led the franchise for 11 seasons since 2013 where he won 5 IPL trophies and a CLT20 2013 title for them. After this news, Mumbai Indians faced backlash from their fans especially on Social Media where they unfollowed Mumbai’s social media handles and burned the franchise Jerseys/Flags/Other accessories.

IPL 2024 Season Begins

IPL 2024 started full of excitement and exhilaration but not Mumbai Indians as a franchise. Mumbai lost the first 3 matches and also conceded the highest total of 277 runs in the IPL so far, and in response, Mumbai also registered the highest total of 246 runs in the IPL while chasing. With all this happening Mumbai Indians also faced the heat of the fans through booing and Rohit Sharma’s chants in the 3 stadiums they played Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

It looked like fans showcased that they did not accept Hardik Pandya as their Mumbai captain. Also, in the first match of Mumbai against Gujarat in Ahmedabad, the entire crowd the majority of Gujarat fans were not happy with Hardik Pandya’s decision to join Mumbai Indians.

Now, Hardik Pandya has a thing to prove that if he can get the best out of the Mumbai Indians Squad having the likes of Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar, Bumrah, and many new youngsters will make him again a hero, especially in the eyes of the Mumbai Indians.