In a country where sports is no less than a religion, cricketers are literally worshipped. One such heavily loved ace cricketer is Rohit Sharma. The ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 loss has been tough to bear for the entire world. We can’t even imagine what the Indian team went through that night and for the days to follow. Watching our best cricketers tear up on the field was heart-wrenching.

But in the world of sports, you are not allowed to wallow in your losses for too long. There’s always another match waiting for you. And then came the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions. In a surprising move, Hardik Pandya transferred from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians. This sparked discussions regarding captaincy. It was then revealed that Hardik will take over Rohit Sharma‘s position as the captain of Mumbai Indians.

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This of course came as a shock to Sharma’s fans who feel like the suffering never ends. The five-time IPL winners, Mumbai Indians, have seen a big drop in their social media followers after Rohit Sharma’s sudden dismissal from captaincy. Fans are unhappy about the decision of Hardik Pandya taking over as the captain of the team, and as a result, the team lost more than 1.5 lakh Instagram followers.

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Rohit Sharma’s Legacy

Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles during his remarkable captaincy from 2013 to 2023. With 158 matches under his belt as a leader and a commendable victory rate of 56.33%, Rohit’s contribution to Mumbai Indians was unparalleled. The decision to replace him has not only affected the team dynamics but also left fans questioning the rationale behind the timing and manner of this transition.

Social Media Backlash

The aftermath of this Mumbai Indians’ captaincy announcement was swift and severe. Within an hour, the team’s Instagram account witnessed a loss of over a lakh followers, reflecting the passionate support Rohit Sharma garnered during his tenure. Fans took to social media platforms to express their frustration, using hashtags like #RohitSharma to showcase their solidarity with the ousted captain.

Fan Reactions

Several tweets and posts flooded social media, showcasing the emotional attachment fans had developed with Rohit Sharma. One fan mentioned, “Rohit Sharma has done everything for his franchise Mumbai Indians, but they broke a heart.” The decision to unfollow the Mumbai Indians’ social media accounts was a common theme, with fans expressing their disappointment and solidarity with Rohit.

5 IPL trophies #MumbaiIndians will never find a captain like Rohit Sharma ever again. It’s a horrible decision and a big loss for the franchise. #HardikPandya is good but nowhere close to @ImRo45 when it comes to leadership,” wrote another user.

Sharing a funny video, a third user wrote, “The man who created his own legacy and took Mumbai Indians to another level. Captain Ro, legend…!!!

Mahela Jayawardene’s Gratitude

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians’ global head of performance, Mahela Jayawardene, thanked Rohit Sharma for his exceptional leadership during the last decade. The Mumbai Indians are now one of the most popular and successful teams in IPL history, which is mainly because of Rohit’s contribution, according to Jayawardene.

In addition, he congratulated Hardik Pandya on taking over as captain and underlined the team’s dedication to being future-ready. He said, “It is a tough decision, we had to make them… we cherish every moment a player has contributed.. Having Ro in the team to guide the next generation is very important for us. We [also] know what [Hardik] brings in as an all-rounder.

The Impact

The repercussions of Rohit Sharma’s removal as captain are not confined to social media alone. Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians’ arch-rivals, have benefitted from this unexpected move, becoming the most-followed IPL team on Instagram. CSK’s Instagram followers surged to 13 million, surpassing Mumbai Indians and underlining the impact of this decision on the league’s dynamics.