Hardik Pandya (L) and Rohit Sharma© X (formerly Twitter)

The controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya replacing Rohit Sharma as the Mumbai Indians skipper has been dominating headlines amid the ongoing IPL 2024. Hardik, who completed a sensational trade move from Gujarat Titans, ended Rohit’s ten-year tenure as MI captain but the response from the crowd has not been great. MI slumped to three consecutive losses in the IPL 2024 under Hardik’s leadership and a section of the crowd booed him even at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Former Australia batter Matthew Hayden was not happy with how the franchise handled their ‘succession plan’ and said that he needed to get Rohit Sharma on board before taking such a huge decision in relation to the captaincy.

“See the fans are the biggest stakeholders in this and they often don’t have the politics, the insights, but they want to understand this, they love Rohit Sharma. There’s going to be no getting around that. So potentially how it could have been handled little bit differently is to ensure that Rohit is on board with it, the franchise is communicating it out to the fans, through social media platforms that announce a lot of these things and they actually carry a lot of weight,” he said on Star Sports.

Hayden also cited the decision taken by Chennai Super Kings when Ravindra Jadeja replaced MS Dhoni as their captain and although it did not work out for them in the long run, there were very less friction as less as controversy surrounding the decision.

“You got to have a succession plan and you’ve seen the same thing with CSK last season didn’t we, when Jaddu came into captaincy and it didn’t quite work for them so maybe there is an opportunity to reassess, there are some concerns in and around Hardik’s leadership but I think it’s grossly unfair to look at the start of the season which is notoriously slow for the Mumbai Indians, and judge one of the iconic cricketers in India and will be for a long time to come as well, subject to his own fitness which is always vulnerable being an all-rounder as he is. But it’s grossly unfair to misjudge his performances so far, and the team’s performances and then speculate around what is and what isn’t happening inside that changing room which we don’t know,” he concluded.

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