top of page

Rohit Sharma: Recounting the legacy of a captain who led MI to five IPL wins

IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma, the captain who led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles; recounting the legacy. Hardik Pandya to replace Rohit Sharma as MI captain.

IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma dropped as Mumbai Indians captain for IPL 2024 (Photo: ©IPL/Twitter)
Rohit Sharma will not be captaining Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 (Photo: ©IPL/Twitter)

With a decision, that will be much discussed and debated in the coming weeks and months, the Mumbai Indians have declared Hardik Pandya as their new captain, replacing Rohit Sharma, for IPL 2024. The focus isn’t on the move, but on Rohit, the captain, who has taken Mumbai to new highs with five titles in 11 seasons, a record that only Mahendra Singh Dhoni has matched at the moment. 

Mumbai gave Rohit the chance in 2011, and in turn, he left behind an unmatched legacy for the franchise. The team gets better with tactical changes, and following a strong process. 

Rohit’s legacy of five titles in a decade at the helm

If ever the legacy of Mumbai Indians history would be written, Rohit will open that note, rather than their biggest star, Sachin Tendulkar. 87 victories in 158 games with four drawn results at a win-loss ratio of 1.29 is beyond belief, as was his five IPL titles in 11 years. 

He took over as MI captain from Ricky Ponting midway through IPL 2013. Excluding those tactics, Rohit’s contribution with the bat as the MI captain is unbelievable. He has smashed 3986 IPL runs as the captain of MI across 157 innings at a 129.37 strike rate with 25 fifties, which is third highest among IPL captains. 

Rohit Sharma has 5 IPL titles with Mumbai Indians (Photo_ ©mipaltan_Twitter)
Rohit Sharma has 5 IPL titles with Mumbai Indians (Photo: ©mipaltan/Twitter)
A five-year title journey decorated with pure planning and process

Mumbai made the announcement of Rohit Sharma taking the leadership duties from Ricky Ponting in 2013, just before their toss against Chennai Super Kings. They lost the game but went on to finish second in the table. They blew away Rajasthan Royals, and CSK in the final by 23 runs to clinch their maiden IPL title. 2015 saw them making a false start, losing six games on the trot. However, they made a strong comeback and progressed to the playoffs, thanks to their better net run rate. Yet again, they beat CSK to capture their second trophy. 

They roared back in 2017, finishing as the top side in the league phase. They just went over the line by 1-run in a thrilling final against Rising Pune Supergiants. They missed out on 2018 but responded with their fourth title in 2019. Almost in the same fashion, they held their nerve under the cool guidance of Rohit till the end, to get another narrow 1-run win against CSK. 

Mumbai was too hot to handle in 2020. With every base covered, it was just a matter of time for them to put their hands on the trophy. The IPL was shifted to UAE due to the pandemic, and MI beat Delhi Capitals in the final to earn their fifth trophy in the tournament’s history. 

Rohit’s incredible belief in young players has made Mumbai strong

Different teams follow different strategies in their planning for the IPL seasons. But for both CSK and MI, it’s the same process of trusting the players. While CSK keeps faith mostly in their experienced campaigners, Mumbai puts weight on building a young team. 

They were the first team to give Jasprit Bumrah his breakthrough in the IPL. And, at this moment, India can’t think of any tournament or important series without the speedster. Both Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, also got their maiden chance in the IPL in Mumbai colours. Hardik now has become one of the vital members of the India side. 

Mumbai won the service of Suryakumar Yadav during the 2018 mega auction. Sky was a decent player for Kolkata Knight Riders, but because he used to come lower down in the batting order, he was far away from showing his calibre. Mumbai and Rohit gave him the platform. In the recent generation, Ishan Kishan, and Tilak Varma have made it into the India squad, based on their terrific performances for Mumbai Indians. 

Besides all of these, Rohit keeps nature calm and makes sure to follow the process. The more the environment remains calm in a familiar structure, the easier it becomes for the players to perform comfortably. 

Heavy responsibility to shoulder and big shoes to fill for Hardik

The transition was going to happen anyway. However, one could argue that the decision to change captaincy could be delayed for another year. But Hardik Pandya will be under pressure to carry the legacy and benchmark Rohit has set for this franchise. 

“I’m surprised that MI has moved on from Rohit Sharma so early. It happened so quickly, I’m also a little surprised.” Expressed former India opener Wasim Jaffer in a video chat with ESPNcricinfo.  

However, Hardik has done well with the captaincy hat, making the Gujarat Titans the champions of 2022 and the runners-up in 2023. The best option for Rohit will be to enjoy his batting and give Pandya some help whenever required in the field. 

28 views0 comments


bottom of page