Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra suggests that a substantial innings from opener Rohit Sharma during the IPL 2024 showdown against RR could alleviate the pressure on MI skipper Hardik Pandya. Mumbai, aiming for their inaugural victory, will confront Rajasthan at the Wankhede Stadium in the forthcoming IPL 2024 encounter. Following Hardik’s assumption of the captaincy from the seasoned five-time title-winning skipper Rohit Sharma—an action drawing criticism—Mumbai finds themselves ensnared in a familiar cycle of disappointment in IPL 2024, having suffered defeats in their initial two matches. Their narrow defeat to Pandya’s former team, the Gujarat Titans, was trailed by a comprehensive loss against the Sunrisers.

“Let’s return to Rohit Sharma. Rohit Sharma has exhibited promising form. He displayed prowess in the last match and the preceding one as well. While acknowledging the challenges posed by Nandre Burger and Trent Boult, this contest must be seized from the outset. Hence, I’m banking on Rohit Sharma once more. A substantial knock from Rohit Sharma could alleviate some pressure on Hardik Pandya, the captain,” remarked Aakash Chopra on his official YouTube channel. Consequently, the Mumbai Indians find themselves at the bottom of the 10-team points table. Although it’s early in the 17th edition of the T20 league, Pandya’s Mumbai are cognizant of the imperative to halt their losing streak promptly and enhance their Net Run Rate, presently languishing as the league’s poorest at -0.925.

Aakash Chopra also underscored the significance of Hardik Pandya, advocating for improved utilization of bowlers and strategic decision-making to enhance the team’s performance. “Hardik Pandya is my second focus. Hardik Pandya, the captain, is once again under scrutiny. Deploy Jasprit Bumrah with the new ball to dismiss at least two among Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Sanju Samson within the first six overs. Will he entrust the new ball to Jasprit Bumrah? Will he optimize the bowlers’ usage? Will he include Luke Wood or demonstrate faith in the existing players? Will he refrain from assigning a spinner to bowl the final over? Hardik Pandya, the batsman—while others registered strike rates of 200-250 in the last match, he faced criticism for a relatively slower performance. Occasionally, one finds oneself in a rut,” Chopra concluded.