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Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya opened up on a lot of hot topics related to the franchise and the various changes that have taken place in the last six months or so. Immediately after Cricket World Cup 2023 when India fans were still recovering from the heartbreak of loss in the final, Mumbai Indians dropped a bombshell on their fans by announcing Hardik Pandya as the captain. The move seemed logical as MI looked to build a future leader. However, it did not go down well with a part of MI's fanbase, especially Rohit fans.

In a matter of hours, MI lost lakhs of followers over Instagram and till date, they receive heat from Rohit fans in every post they make on Instagram. Hardik has faced a lot of flak for making a return to MI from Gujarat Titans (GT), some even racially abusing, calling him as 'Ch**ri'.

Hardik Pandya on trolling by Rohit Sharma Fans

But amid all the noise, Hardik has kept quiet and worked harder to get back in shape after suffering an ankle injury during the World Cup. For the first time, during the MI press conference, did Hardik open up on the change in captaincy and the backlash he received due to it.

Hardik told the reporters that he respects the emotions of the fans but he cannot control the uncontrollables. “I respect the fans' emotions but I can only control the controllable. I respect them but I will focus on what I can be doing (as captain),” Hardik said.

Hardik Pandya on how he feels after returning to MI

The all-rounder also spoke on his return to MI, saying that he never thought he could reach at this stage of his career and come so far from where he began and a lot of credit behind his success goes to MI where his cricketing journey began .

“It won't be any different because he will always be there to help me out if I need his help. At the same time, his (Rohit) being the Indian captain helps me because this team has achieved all its glory under his belt. From now on, it will just be me carrying forward what he_— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) March 18, 2024

On leading Rohit Sharma in IPL

One of the challenges for a junior, who started his cricket under a senior cricketer, to captain him, in IPL, domestic cricket or international cricket. Many top leaders have done that. MS Dhoni led a side which had Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly etc. Virat Kohli, Rohit have also led an Indian team that had Dhoni in it. Hardik faces the same scenario with Rohit in the MI set up.

However, the new captain feels the task won't be as difficult as it sounds. He feels playing experience with Rohit will come handy when leading the former captain, who won MI five championships. “It won't be any different. He will be helping me when I need it. As mentioned, he is the Indian captain and I've played my whole career under him. So, I don't feel it would be awkward, ” said Hardik.

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He added that he had not got time to speak to Rohit since taking over as MI captain but there is a reason why. “I haven't got a lot of time to talk with Rohit because he has been touring. I will definitely catch up when he links up with the team,” said MI captain.