IPL Trading: Hardik Pandya in talks to leave Gujarat Titans for Mumbai Indians

NEW DELHI: In a significant development in Indian cricket, it has emerged that Hardik Pandya is set to return to Mumbai Indians this IPL season after having captained Gujarat Titans for a couple of seasons. TOI has learnt that the star allrounder is being seen as a potential successor to Rohit Sharma in the Mumbai Indians squad.
“Hardik has been in talks with Mumbai Indians since the last IPL got over.Hardik and MI reached the decision a couple of months before the World Cup. It’s up to the two franchises to firm up the modalities and formalize the deal. An announcement will be made only after that,” a BCCI source told TOI.
The IPL trading window is still open. Mumbai Indians will have to find a way to match Hardik’s salary of Rs 15 crore. They may have to let go of the services of some players. There is a chance that England pacer Jofra Archer could be released. On the other hand, Gujarat Titans management led by Ashish Nehra is working overtime to find a suitable replacement for Hardik.
Hardik has been touted as India’s next white-ball captain after having already led the T20I side for over a year. Hardik’s stock as a captain rose after he led new franchise Titans to an IPL title in their debut season in 2022 and followed it up with a runners-up finish in 2023.
When the deal gets formalized, it will be back to the alma mater for Hardik. It was the Mumbai Indians which discovered him and gave him the exposure to become India’s leading seam-bowling allrounder. Sources said that Mumbai Indians are looking for someone who can lead the team for a fairly long time. Their most successful captain Rohit is in the last lap of his career.
TOI had reported on Nov 22 that Rohit is measuring his white-ball career. He has told the national selectors that he has no qualms if he is not considered for India’s T20Is. Even Indian selectors are looking to groom a long-term captain. Sources said Rohit is keen on continuing his Test career as of now. It will be interesting to see if Rohit relinquishes IPL captaincy this season itself.
Mumbai Indians invested heavily in Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav when they let go of the services of Hardik in 2022. It seems the management is still not satisfied with the duo’s leadership skills.

DC to release Sarfaraz, Pandey, Nagarkoti
It has learnt that Delhi Capitals have decided to part ways with Sarfaraz Khan, Manish Pandey and Kamlesh Nagarkoti for the upcoming season. The franchise saw an underwhelming season last year with their domestic talent not living up to expectations. “There will be a lot of fresh faces next season. There are no players available in the transfer window. DC management will look to buy fresh domestic talent at the auction,” the source said.

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