"Don't treat Rohit Sharma differently..." - Gautam Gambhir's blunt message to Hardik Pandya on MI captaincy controversy

Published - 21 Jun 2024, 04:37 PM

Gautam Gambhir and Hardik Pandya
Gautam Gambhir and Hardik Pandya {PC:X}

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor Gautam Gambhir suggested how Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya could've dealt with the tough situation during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. He said that said all-rounder should've treated Rohit Sharma and the young members of the team equally because he is the leader of the entire dressing room. 

Hardik Pandya had the worst phase of his career during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Ahead of the tournament, the Mumbai Indians franchise removed Rohit Sharma as the captain of the team through a social media post and named the all-rounder as the new captain of the franchise. 

But the move wasn't welcomed by the fans as many experts and fans lashed out at the franchise and Hardik Pandya for the unfair treatment of Rohit Sharma. This was because the Indian captain guided the Mumbai Indians to the five titles in the league and made them the most successful in the league. 

Hardik Pandya then wasn't treated well by the fans. Every time the all-rounder stepped out, he was booed and was greeted with "Rohit Rohit" chants. To worsen the case more, his performances too weren't good and under his leadership, Mumbai Indians finished last on the points table.

Gautam Gambhir during an event was asked if should Hardik have managed Mumbai Indians. Replying to this, the KKR mentor stated that although it's a tough job leaders are bound to do tough things. He said that treating two players differently makes him a follower, not a captain. He explained in a video shared by Forbes India: 

"Look, first and foremost, treat Rohit Sharma and the youngest team, the youngest member of the dressing room exactly the same way. Absolutely exactly the same way. It is a tough job, but that is leaders are bound to take tough decisions and are bound to do difficult things as well. That is why you're the leader. Otherwise, you would end up becoming a follower. 

"Treat everyone equally, whether someone like Rohit Sharma who leads India in all the formats to winning five championships, for Mumbai Indians, but if you're a leader, then you're a leader for everyone in that dressing room. You don't treat Rohit Sharma differently to someone who is the youngest member in that dressing room."

You cannot have different rules and you cannot have different things for different individuals - Gautam Gambhir on Hardik Pandya 

Gautam Gambhir stated that Hardik Pandya needs to have a lot of self-belief and courage to treat big names and youngsters equally. He highlighted that a captain cannot have different rules for different players. He elaborated: 

"And to do that, you need to have a lot of self-belief, a lot of courage as well. And that is for me the first and foremost quality of being a true leader because you're true to the entire squad or entire bunch of people sitting in that dressing room. 

"You cannot have different rules and you cannot have different things for different individuals. Looking at the profile, you do not look at profiles when you want to become a leader. If you want to become a leader, profiles do not matter," he concluded. 

While under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, Mumbai Indians finished last, Gautam Gambhir as a mentor took Kolkata Knight Riders to third IPL title.