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Opinion:Theories on Why Hardik Pandya Failed as Mumbai Indians Captain

Cricket- Ever since one of the successful franchise of Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians announced their captaincy change last year, they have faced large amount of disappointment from their fans & supporters whom they call as 'Paltan'.

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By rutunjay
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Hardik Pandya

Ever since one of the successful franchise of Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians announced their captaincy change last year, they have faced large amount of disappointment from their fans & supporters whom they call as 'Paltan'. The captaincy change came just after India's defeat in ICC ODI World Cup final against Australia. Indian cricket fans were just coming out of the grief and Gujrat Titons made a huge transfer of Hardik Pandya to Mumbai Indians; further Mumbai announced Pandya as their new captain as replacement of Rohit Sharma.

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Mumbai Indians faced heat on Social Media platforms for the abrupt decision, following booing towards Hardik Pandya in the first few games Mumbai played on different grounds and even at Wankhede, Mumbai. Only way Mumbai Indians could have minimise all this hate was to dominate the IPL 2024 & play as champions like they used to with such a star studded squad. But, they couldn't even win crucial moments in the game victories were far away! The question appears why Mumbai Indians could not perform despite having a fully equipped sqaud, Title winning captain Hardik Pandya (GT 2022) & such a dominant reputation; here are some theories why team & Hardik Pandya failed as a captain of the deck:

Decision Making:

Ever heard of a phrase of "no two swords can be placed in a single scabbard," similarly you can't expect five times title winner Rohit Sharma to not make or amend any decisions on the field taken by current captain Hardik Pandya. But, when it comes to the decision making in a team game, there should be a linear thought, clarity & faith. Mumbai Indians lost all these things in the first few games, with the abrupt decisions taken by captain Hardik Pandya on the field, former Captain Rohit Sharma suggesting his point of view on those decisions or reacting in disappointment, strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah taking his own decisions when he is bowling. Even in the strategic time-outs in between the matches we could see hurdles of players talking in groups but not as one team, one with Hardik, some with Sharma, sometimes it would be batting coach Pollards or head coach Boucher. No one knows who the players are following & listening to.

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Big Names, Poor performances:

Mumbai Indians have some reputed players in their deck suited to their roles in the team but they did not showed their abilities on the field this year, be it Ishan Kishan as an opener, Tim David in the middle, Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder or whole bowling unit except Bumrah. Even a great captain needs an inform team to succeed in such long running leagues. Hardik as a captain lack those strong match winning performances which he got in Gujrat Titans in the last editions of the IPL, no doubth why they consecutively played 2 IPL finals. 

Team managenent & Coaching:

With the captaincy change Mumbai Indians also brought Mark Boucher as their new Head-coach. To be honest, Boucher had just one simple job, to fit Hardik Pandya & Jasprit Bumrah in the already groomed playing XI by Rohit Sharma from the earlier season. But Boucher technically ruined the playing XI taking some unnecessary decisions in uncontrollable scinarios. 

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