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Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, in a video, talked about the feeling of wearing the Blue colors of the franchise, describing it as “really special”. Pandya stated that he started his journey from here and coming back and playing for the team is special for him. Later on in the video he spoke about bowling coach Lasith Malinga and the head coach Mark Boucher.

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“The feeling of wearing blue color is really special for me. Journey started here. Coming back and playing which is always gonna be special. Malinga is like my brother from the start and Boucher has been wonderful. We will make sure that we will play a brand of cricket which all will be proud of and at the same point of time, that's going to be a ride no one will forget,” the right-arm seamer said in a video posted by Mumbai Indians on X.

The Baroda-born cricketer is set to captain Mumbai Indians (MI), replacing their five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy-winning skipper Rohit Sharma in the 2024 season of the cash-rich league.

“My journey started here. Coming back home & playing is always going to be special.” – @hardikpandya7_#OneFamily #MumbaiIndians pic.twitter.com/GrtVmjl7Xd

— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) March 15, 2024

In November last year, the 30-year-old player moved back from Gujarat Titans (GT) to his former franchise. The star all-rounder spent two momentous years with GT, spearheading their campaign in the cash-rich league with aplomb. In GT's debut season in 2022, Hardik got them off to a fairytale start, with the team lifting the coveted trophy.

In 31 matches for GT, the right-hand batsman has scored 833 runs at an average of 37.86 and a strike rate of over 133, with six half-centuries and a best score of 87*. He also took 11 wickets for the team, with the best figures of 3/17.

Pandya also played 92 matches for MI from 2015-2021, scoring 1,476 runs at an average of 27.33 at a strike rate of over 153, with four half-centuries and best score of 91. He also took 42 wickets for the team, with the best bowling figures of 3/20. Pandya has won five IPL trophies, four with MI (2015, 2017, 2019, 2020) and GT (2022).

The 17th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will start on March 22, with defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) set to clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a South Indian derby at their home arena – MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Last year's runners-up Gujarat Titans and five-time champions Mumbai Indians will square off against each other in a mouth-watering clash on March 24 at Ahmedabad. The fixture has gained a lot of hype because of star all-rounder Pandya's move to his former franchise MI following two great seasons with GT. Shubman Gill has taken over the captaincy of GT.

Mumbai Indians (MI) IPL 2024 squad: Rohit Sharma, Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Tilak Verma, Tim David, Vishnu Vinod, Arjun Tendulkar, Shams Mulani, Nehal WadheraJasprit Bumrah, Kumar Kartikeya, Piyush Chawla, Akash Madhwal, Jason Behrendorff, Hardik Pandya (traded from GT), Romario Shepherd (traded from LSG), Gerald Coetzee, Dilshan Madushanka, Shreyas Gopal, Nuwan Thushara, Naman Dhir, Anshul Kamboj, Mohammad Nabi, Shivalik Sharma.