Mumbai Indians’ head coach Mark Boucher has expanded on the reason why they chose to replace Rohit Sharma as the captain of the highly successful IPL team. Boucher has emphasized that the move is purely a cricketing decision to take the team through a transition phase. He reveals the intent of the franchise in maximising Rohit’s potential as a batsman, and throws light on the strategic acquisition of Hardik in a historic trade from Gujarat Titans.

The decision immediately stirred a hornet’s nest, as in the first hour of that announcement, it meant that thousands of his followers had already vanished in thin air, and thereby meant the end of the decade of Rohit’s era in captaincy. Boucher has an answer to the condemnation, though, where he puts it from the cricketing angle and how it means to bring the best out of Rohit as a player.

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Putting Hardik at the helm just days ahead of the mini auction of IPL 2024 surely came as a surprising move to many, with a section of fans disappointed by Rohit’s end. Still, Boucher defended the move, saying that there had been cricketing reasoning behind it and that the transition would be good for both players.

Boucher pointed out the challenges cricketers in IPL have, like photo shoots and advertising, and said it was important to have a cricket-centric approach. He said that he expected relieving Rohit from the burden of captaincy would make him play more freely and thereby gain consistency in batting.

With a fantastic captaincy record of five IPL titles, Rohit Sharma has accrued in the last few years, Boucher admitted to his struggles in the recent past to keep the form in the batting form. The head coach feels that relieving him of captaincy will afford Rohit an opportunity to focus on batting and produce more productively for the team.

Boucher, who took charge as head coach in 2022, looks back at the last occasion when the side won the IPL title, in 2020, and ahead to the forthcoming season with the goal to bring about a smooth transition for the side and help the group attain its best.

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