'Ab aag me kaise convert karenge...:' India great backs Rohit Sharma for a fantastic IPL 2024

Rohit Sharma will play this season as a specialist batter while Hardik Pandya will lead Mumbai Indians.

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In December 2023, Mumbai Indians announced Hardik Pandya as their new skipper. Hardik replaced Rohit Sharma, who had led the team since 2013. The decision came as a shocking one and received plenty of flak from various cricketing pundits and fans. Rohit led Mumbai Indians to a record 5 IPL titles, which is the joint-most with MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings.

But the team has failed to reach the final in their last three attempts. MI's coach Mark Boucher called it a transition phase and hoped Rohit can bat with more freedom now. Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya left Gujarat Titans, a team that he led to the championship win and a runners-up title in their two attempts.

Ever since the decision has been announced, it has created a lot of buzz with most of the people not satisfied with Rohit's removal from captaincy. Rohit Sharma is currently the captain of the national team and is set to lead India in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh backs Rohit Sharma for a fantastic IPL 2024

On his official YouTube channel, former India offspinner Harbhajan Singh explained MI's challenges and also termed Rohit Sharma's removal from the captaincy a shocking decision.

"As much as I know Rohit Sharma, he's a very simple guy. He will never talk about this decision publicly. But one thing is certain, a five-time champion, and the guy who almost won the World Cup... it is shocking. Maybe, this decision could have been delayed by an year. Ability wise, Hardik Pandya is well capable. But the team will only win if it is unified. That's the biggest challenge for MI," he added.

Harbhajan Singh went on to claim that despite the captaincy saga, Rohit Sharma will give his best shot and this could turn out to be his best season in IPL.

"There has been no statement from Rohit Sharma on this entire saga. He's a quiet person, he will just move on from this. I think he will give his best shot, and support Hardik and the team. On the inside, there might be some anguish. Maybe, this will be Rohit Sharma's best season in IPL," Harbhajan claimed.

“Because sometimes, you have to show that you are still pretty capable. Jo chingaari ki zarurat thi, vo lag chuki hai. Ab aag me kaise convert karenge, vo dekhna hai (The spark is there, now he just needs to see how to start the fire),” the former MI captain added.

Also read: Why Rohit Sharma did not play Mumbai Indians' practice game

Harbhajan Singh started his IPL career while playing for Mumbai Indians way back in 2008. He also led Mumbai Indians for a few matches in IPL 2012. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma is set to play IPL 2024 as a specialist batter. The last few IPL seasons haven't been great for him as a batter but he will look to bat with more freedom this season.

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