AB de Villiers addresses 'big controversy' in Mumbai Indians' camp featuring Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma

"Big controversy over the last few months was that Hardik Pandya's come in as a new captain in place of Rohit Sharma," de Villiers stated.

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AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Photo Source - AB de Villiers)

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians signed Hardik Pandya for an undisclosed fee ahead of IPL 2024. The former Gujarat Titans skipper was also handed the baton to lead the team as Mumbai made an audacious call of relieving  Rohit Sharma from the role of captaincy, who had previously led the team to five IPL trophies.

Soon after the decision was made, MI veterans Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah made cryptic posts on their respective Instagram accounts while Rohit's wife Ritika Sajdeh called out head coach Mark Boucher and stated that the former South African international wasn't telling the truth as well as the decision in itself being wrong on a lot of levels.

However, things have calmed down as none of the players have opened up on the matter since then. However, ahead of the 17th edition of the cash-rich league, former Royal Challengers Bangalore cricketer AB de Villiers opened up and called it a ‘big controversy’ and added that he can't wait to see Hardik Pandya back in action.

Also Read - Hardik Pandya joins Mumbai Indians camp

“Incredibly successful team of the IPL. They have won five titles. Big controversy over the last few months was that Hardik Pandya's come in as a new captain in place of Rohit Sharma. They seem to be happy though. They seemed to have moved on. It's great to have Hardik Pandya in blue at his home team Mumbai Indians. They will be starting against Gujarat Titans, how ironic is that,” de Villiers said on his YouTube channel.

“Hardik Pandya - they needed him to come back; otherwise, the balance just didn't look as strong. I think Hardik is going to play a huge role. Hopefully, he will be able to hold the ball in hand and be the all-rounder that Mumbai Indians need him to be,” he added.

Notably, Mumbai will begin their campaign on March 24 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, and ahead of that, the majority of the players have assembled at the Wankhede Stadium. Rohit joined the squad on March 13, while pace-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is yet to join. On the other hand, Suryakumar Yadav is ruled out of the first couple of matches of the season.

Also Read - Suryakumar Yadav doubtful for first two games of Mumbai Indians

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