Rohit Sharma, Akash Ambani have intense chat in MI dugout immediately after suffering 2nd defeat under Hardik Pandya | Cricket

Once again, Mumbai Indians are struggling to break free of the ‘slow starters’ tag. With a second straight defeat in IPL 2024, MI are right at the bottom of the points table as the only team who’s played a minimum of two games but is yet to open its account. After narrowly losing to Gujarat Titans by six runs, the belief was that MI would build on it and extend its head-to-head record against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Rohit Sharma and Akash Ambani after MI's second defeat of IPL 2024. (Screengrab)
Rohit Sharma and Akash Ambani after MI’s second defeat of IPL 2024. (Screengrab)

But what transpired last evening at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal, no one saw it coming. In a display of brutal power hitting, SRH batters ripped MI bowlers to shred, posting the highest ever total in IPL history with contributions from Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma and Heinrich Klaasen powering Sunrisers to a monster total of 277/3.

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MI tried, and even succeeded in pushing SRH to their limits but eventually fell short by 31 runs. With 38 sixes hit, the visuals of the ball being flayed to all parts of the ground was common, but one sight that caught everybody’s attention more than anything unfurled right after the match – that of ex-MI captain Rohit Sharma being involved in a rather serious discussion with owner Akash Ambani in the dugout.

As Hardik Pandya got done giving his post-match interview to Ian Bishop, the camera turned to the MI dugout, where Rohit, Akash, a member of the staff and Tilak Varma were having an intense discussion. The chat went on for a while, and even as the member of the management whose face was not visible, and Tilak went their ways, Rohit and Akash were at it. Rohit and Akash two away from the dugout and took a different spot, where they were later joined in by Hardik as the three of them continued.

Only the ones present there would be aware of what exactly the conversation was about, but one thing is for certain. Whatever it was, it has to do with MI’s consecutive defeats. When Hardik was appointed as captain, the decision was taken to arrest the franchise’s slide. MI, who for eight years, made it a habit to win one IPL title ever season between 2013 and 2020, have not lifted the trophy in three years. With Hardik having captained Gujarat Titans to one trophy and one runner-up finish across the last two seasons, the all-rounder was expected to bring a fresh change in the MI camp but it hasn’t happened thus far.

Users feels something’s up within MI camp

Some posts on X, especially those who haven’t warmed up to Hardik, and are ardent Rohit supporters feel… and this goes by a long shot… that going by the animated chats, MI could be pondering switching back to Rohit as captain. But then again, that’s the public’s perspective, one that is triggered more by emotions than logic. At the end of the day, two games are too early to judge and Hardik’s appointment is by no means, similar to CSK’s Ravindra Jadeja hasty call back in 2022.

This wasn’t the first instance of Rohit being spotted in the middle of a discussion. After MI lost to GT by six runs, Rohit, Jasprit Bumrah, Arjun Tendulkar and couple of more MI players formed were seen in the MI dugout, which led to more speculations. Only time will tell whether there’s more to it than what meets the eye. Hardik is a proven captain. He has produced the results with GT and with the Indian team as well in T20Is while Rohit was away concentrating on ODIs. But here at MI, he has big shoes to fill. His first priority is to get MI off the mark this season and build on it match by match.


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