Laxmipathy Balaji comments of relationship of Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma

This year Mumbai Indians is having new captain as Hardik Pandya

Attention India
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New Mumbai Indians Captain

It’s been over three months since Hardik Pandya replaced Rohit Sharma as captain of Mumbai Indians, and two days since he led MI for the first time. Yet, the public’s opinion of Hardik hasn’t changed much. He faced a backlash like no other back then, and endured the jeering of the crowd two nights ago in Ahmedabad. At the Narendra Modi stadium. Where two years ago he was the toast of the city when he had captained Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title.

Transition will be tough

Hardik isn’t being warmed up to. Neither in Mumbai, or Gujarat. As for what’s transpiring inside that dressing room, only Hardik, Rohit and the players are aware of the dynamics. But former India and Chennai Super Kings fast bowler Laxmipathy Balaji feels Hardik returning to MI and taking over the role which Rohit had served for years with so much success isn’t going to be that easy a transition. While this is not the first time that a player has switched sides back-and-forth, and probably won’t be the last case, the heat Hardik is receiving is unreal, something Balaji dwelled on.

Balaji talked about the captaincy

“It’s been going on for a while, definitely it’s not normally something which you see, a lot of friendships happen, players have gone to different franchises, yes this is one of the cases, but being in a professional field you have to accept that one side is emotional and one side is something very big, when you come to replace a personality like Rohit Sharma who is already a phenomenal achiever when it comes to Mumbai Indians,” he said on the ‘Star Sports Press Room’ show.

Mumbai Lost their First Match of the Season

Things took a turn for the worse when certain images of Hardik went viral during MI’s season opener against Titans. Visuals of him instructing Rohit where to go field, walking away as soon as the former captain and Jasprit Bumrah came together for a chat; and his absence post-match even as Rohit, Bumrah and some of the others were spotted sitting in the dugout and chatting, led to a plethora of speculations on social media.

Hardik needs to gain trust of players

What worsened the situation was the outcome as MI fell short by six runs to once again lose the opening game of a season. To arrest the slide and ensure things play out smoothly between Hardik and the rest of the guys in the MI setup, Balaji suggests the captain needs to come up with ideas to gain every member’s trust. Which will not be easy if MI start losing. They next face Pat Cummins’ Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Wednesday, and an away win promises to make Hardik’s position better, asserts the ex-pacer.

Things will take time to change

“Definitely it will take some time, it will settle. And you have to win your own men, so for Hardik to win the whole dressing room is very important as a player and as a human so definitely that trust needs to be earned and it will take some time to adapt and accept and I’m sure he’s good enough and professional enough and he’ll accept that”. He’s got a young team around him and when they start winning the emotions will be different. If they start losing, then you have problems to face. So slowly things will pop up. It’s better to have a friend on a winning front rather than a losing front”, Balaji concluded.

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