Ritika Sajdeh slams Mark Boucher on Rohit Sharma's captaincy replacement

Mumbai Indians roped in Hardik in a cash trade with Gujarat Titans for IPL 2024 season. The South African coach showered faith in Pandya asserting that he has the potential to lead MI to the top.

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Ritika Sajdeh, the wife of cricketer Rohit Sharma, has openly expressed her disappointment over Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher's recent comments justifying the decision to replace her husband with Hardik Pandya as the team's captain for IPL 2024. While Rohit Sharma has maintained silence on the move, Sajdeh took to social media to critique Boucher's remarks.

In a podcast interview earlier this week, Mark Boucher defended the decision, labeling the choice of Hardik as captain as a 'cricketing decision' and urged people not to become 'emotional' about it. Boucher emphasized that appointing Hardik as the new skipper was part of a transition phase for the Mumbai Indians.

Boucher went further, suggesting that Rohit Sharma's recent batting performances for Mumbai Indians were not up to par, implying that relinquishing the captaincy could enable Sharma to focus more on his batting contributions.

The controversial interview segment was shared on the official Instagram handle of Smash Sports. Reacting to the video, Ritika Sajdeh in a now-deleted comment wrote, "So many things wrong with this..."

Misery of Hitman continues

Rohit Sharma has faced challenges in maintaining consistency for Mumbai Indians in recent IPL seasons. In 2023, he scored a total of 332 runs in 16 matches, while his performance dipped further in 2022, managing only 268 runs in 14 matches at an average of less than 20.

Earlier, Boucher said on the Smash Sports podcast, "I think it was purely a cricketing decision... For me, it's a transition phase... I do think it is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person and as a player. Just let him go out and enjoy and score some good runs."

Golden era of MI under Rohit's leadership

The 'Hit-man' took over the captaincy from Rick Ponting of the franchise. After assuming his responsibility, MI won 5 titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. He also played some crucial innings during his stint. Notably, Rohit is amongst the leading run scorers of the Indian Premier League. 

On the other hand, Hardik made his debut in 2015 with Mumbai Indians and played 6 seasons for them. In 2022, he changed his side and joined Gujarat Titans as skipper. Under his captaincy, Gujarat Titans clinched their maiden title. The following year, Gurajat Titaan finished the tournament as runners-up last season. 

Boucher praises Hardik Pandya

In a shocking move, Mumbai Indians roped in Hardik in a cash trade with Gujarat Titans for IPL 2024 season. The South African coach showered faith in Pandya asserting that he has the potential to lead MI to the top. He emphasized that Hardik had won the title in his debut year as skipper and led his team to finals in his second year. "So there's obviously some very good leadership skills as well," Boucher added.