Former Indian cricket team batter Navjot Singh Sidhu had his say about Rohit Sharma playing under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 after the much-talked-about change in captaincy. Hardik, who completed a sensational trade move from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians, replaced Rohit as the skipper ahead of IPL 2024 and the move has led to massive conversations among fans and experts. In a recent interaction, Sidhu said that Dhoni and Rohit are great players in their own right, and playing in a franchise team under another captain does not diminish their position.

“I have played in an Indian team where five captains used to pay together. Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri. Pick up a brick and you will find a captain both above and below it. There were no issues because they were playing for their nation. The motivation was to play for your country. So, playing under Hardik does not make Rohit smaller.”

Dhoni has passed the baton already and that could have happened in Mumbai Indians as well. But this is a franchise and they look at the performances. They gave it three years and when it did not work, they got a new person for the job. You need to accept it. But Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni are great players. A dwarf is a dwarf even if he is standing at the top of a mountain and a God is a God even if they are standing at the bottom of a well,” Sidhu said during the analysis on Star Sports.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians’ batting coach Kieron Pollard backed Hardik Pandya’s move to open the bowling instead of Jasprit Bumrah and also said the skipper batting at number seven in their IPL opener against Gujarat Titans was a “collective decision”.

An inexplicable batting strategy saw MI lose their opener by six runs here on Sunday after they looked on course for victory.

Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bowl first and surprisingly, Hardik opened the bowling against his former side.

“You have to plan and decide what you want to do as a team. Hardik (Pandya) has also bowled with the new ball for Gujarat over the last couple of years. He swung the new ball and bowled it well, which was nothing new to us.

“We tried to use the advantage of the new ball swinging along. When I look at the decision made, there is nothing wrong with it, and we move on,” Pollard said at the post-match press conference.

(With PTI inputs)

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