IPL 2024: Wife Ritika opens up an old scar about Rohit’s ouster from MI captaincy
Head coach Mark Boucher says decision aimed to get the stalwart's best as a batter
The rumblings over the removal of Rohit Sharma as captain of the five-time champions Mumbai Indians have not quite died down even after two months, it seems. If Mark Boucher, the South African head coach of MI, tried to justify it as a move to help the veteran shine as a performer on social media – it met with a prompt rebuttal from Rohit’s wife, Ritika Sajdeh.
The IPL franchise’s decision to replace Rohit with India allrounder Hardik Pandya as captain in mid-December had already met with a lot of backlash from the huge fanbase of the India and ex-MI captain. Rohit is the most successful IPL captain along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, both having led their teams to five titles each, but Boucher concluded that his returns with the bat had diminished.
The coach’s pre-season SmashSports podcast drew a sharp response from Ritika, with whom Rohit has been married since 2015 and has a daughter. ‘’So many things wrong with this,’’ Ritika posted in the comments section – which has not escaped the eyes of the media.
Rohit, who is fourth in the list of all-time run-getters in IPL history with 6211 runs, struggled in IPL 2022, having scored just 268 runs and followed it up with an aggregate of 332 runs last season. ‘’I just thought you know when we’re speaking with the whole Mumbai Indians group, we thought that maybe this is the opportunity for him to step as a player. We believe he got some great value to add and just go out there and actually enjoy it without the hype of being a captain,’’ Boucher observed.
‘’It’s just more of a cricketing decision that was made and I do think it is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person as a player. Just let him go out and enjoy and score some good runs. He’s been captaining for ages and he's done really well for Mumbai Indians. Now he also leads India as well. It is that he walks into a place, and there are just cameras in it, and he's so busy, and he hasn't had probably the best couple of seasons of late with the bat, but he's done well as a captain,’’ the former wicketkeeper said.
The MI camp, meanwhile, is sweating on the fitness of Pandya – who had been out of action from competitive cricket after sustaining a freak injury in 2023 World Cup.