Mumbai Indians (MI) coach Mark Boucher said that Rohit Sharma was removed from the captaincy so that he could focus on his batting. Rohit could not score runs for the last 2 seasons, now he will be able to bat without pressure.
MI included Hardik Pandya in its team by trading him from Gujarat Titans. Then in December last year, before the auction, Rohit was removed from the captaincy and Hardik was made the new captain.
Mark Boucher revealed in the 'Banter with the Boys' podcast that it was the management's decision to remove Rohit from the captaincy, so that he could give the best for the team in batting.
Boucher said, 'Cricket fans in India are very emotional. He got angry at the decision to remove Rohit from the captaincy, but considering the future, it was a good decision. I think Rohit will be able to perform better as a player and a person now. He will enjoy batting without pressure and will be able to score runs for the team.
Boucher said, 'We included Hardik back in the team from the trading window. He himself is a Mumbai Indians boy. He went to another franchise, where he made the team champion and took it to the finals in the second season as well. From this it is clear that his leadership skills are excellent.
MI management traded Hardik to Gujarat for Rs 15 crore before the 2023 auction. MI gave Rs 15 crore to Gujarat for this and also gave a separate amount. Even before the auction, the management removed Rohit and made Hardik the captain.
Boucher said, 'Rohit's form has not been good in the last two seasons. He could not perform anything special with the bat, but his captaincy was excellent. He has been captaining for years, he has captained brilliantly for Mumbai and India. As soon as he enters the field, he focuses on his players and strategy.
After talking to the Mumbai Indians group, we decided to remove him from the captaincy. We feel this is the right way to bring out the best in them.
We need Rohit as a player. We are confident that he will perform brilliantly without being the captain. Rohit will definitely captain India, but now he will be able to play in IPL without this pressure. Maybe we will get to see the best of Rohit now.
Rohit could score 600 runs at an average of just 20 in the last 2 IPL seasons. His strike rate was also 126.84. Under his captaincy the team won the IPL for the last time in 2020. The team could not even qualify for the playoffs in 2021 and 2022. In 2023, the team made it to the top-4 teams, but in Qualifier-2 the team had to face defeat from Gujarat Titans.