If Hardik Pandya Is Made Mumbai Indians Captain, "Rohit Sharma Will...": R Ashwin Drops 'Grace' Word
Ahead of the IPL 2024 retention list release, the intrigue surrounding Hardik Pandya's move back to Mumbai Indians from Gujarat Titans was at it peak.
- NDTV Sports Desk
- Updated: December 01, 2023 07:52 PM IST
Who will lead Mumbai Indians at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 - Rohit Sharma or Hardik Pandya? That is one big question that every Indian cricket fan wants to know. Ahead of the IPL 2024 retention list release, the intrigue surrounding Hardik Pandya's likely move back to Mumbai Indians from Gujarat Titans was at it peak. Though Hardik Pandya was initially named in GT's retained players' list, sources told NDTV after the deadline was over that the star all-rounder had been traded-off with Mumbai Indians.
A day later, the IPL officially confirmed the move. Spin stalwart Ravichandran Ashwin feels that if all-rounder Hardik Pandya is made the Mumbai Indians skipper, Rohit Sharma will "handle it with grace" as the Team India captain "does not have much ego".
Pandya returned to Mumbai Indians recently after an all-cash deal trade-off with Gujarat Titans, the IPL side he led for two years.
Pandya, who had started his IPL journey with Mumbai Indians in 2015 and won four titles, moved to Gujarat Titans in 2022 and led the side to title triumph the same season, besides helping it finish runners-up in IPL 2023.
The trade-off to bring Pandya back to the MI fold raised several eyebrows, especially in terms of the franchise's captaincy, which is currently with Rohit.
"Rohit Sharma does not have much ego. He is a great human being and a sound leader. He will handle it with grace (if Pandya is made MI leader)," Ashwin was quoted as saying news agency PTI during a YouTube interaction with former cricketer S. Badrinath.
"In the history of IPL, apart from the top four to five teams, all have released players. Mumbai and CSK have never done it. I know Hardik to an extent. I see this move as a milestone achievement," he added.
Asked about his retirement plan, Ashwin, 37, said the day he loses motivation, he would call it quits. "I am not being diplomatic, but for four to five years (since 2019), I found myself in a very dark space in life, and took help for mental health as well. In the dark space, I realised I have to be ready for any eventuality," he said.
"I have been preparing for life after cricket for five years. But I continue to work hard on my cricket; to contribute with the bat, I went to the USA and practised baseball.
"The day I lose this motivation, I feel irritated about waking up in the morning to bowl or bat, I know it is over. I will then quit immediately, say thanks to all and go on to the next chapter in life." Ashwin, however, clarified that he has not yet decided on his post-retirement career.
"I am searching for something to do beyond cricket. I am interested in marketing and a lot of other things. But even if nothing else, I can't stop watching cricket. I am a cricket-tragic. I will do something in cricket and something other than that," he concluded.
With PTI inputs