Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, captain Hardik Pandya left Gujarat Titans (GT) to lead Mumbai Indians (MI). The development created ripples in cricketing fraternity. Both fans and experts had mixed reaction over the development.

Ahead of the upcoming season, Pandya’s former teammate Mohammed Shami gave a blunt verdict.

“Kisike jane se kisiko farak nahi padta (See, it doesn’t matter who is leaving). You have to see the team’s balance. Hardik was there, he captained us well. He took us to the final in both editions and we won once. But Gujarat hadn’t signed Hardik for a lifetime. It’s his decision to stay or leave. Shubman is made captain now, he will also gain experience. Some day, he might also leave. And it’s a part of the game. Players come and go,” said Shami during a recent interview.

“When you become captain, it’s important to handle the responsibility while taking care of your performances. And that responsibility has been assigned to Shubman this time. He might have some load in his mind, but the players are more or less the same. So he doesn’t need to worry. You need to manage players well and extract the best out of your players,” he added.

Notably, Pandya was the skipper of GT in the past two seasons and on both occasions, he led them to the final. However, Pandya completed a shocking trade to his former team MI.