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Sold For $2,000,000 In IPL 2011 Auction, Rohit Sharma Hoped To Replace Harbhajan Singh As Mumbai Indians’ Captain In IPL 2013

Gurpreet Singh

Sold For $2,000,000 In IPL 2011 Auction, Rohit Sharma Hoped To Replace Harbhajan Singh As Mumbai Indians' Captain In IPL 2013

Roped in by the now-defunct Deccan Chargers for a hefty amount of INR 4.8 crore ahead of first-ever Indian Premier League season, India captain Rohit Sharma was desirous of leading the franchise post spending three years as a specialist batter. In fact, his capability to ace the role was even approved by their captain Adam Gilchrist post IPL 2010.

Had DC retained him before IPL 2011 mega auction, Sharma’s desire of leading the side would have been fulfilled right away. However, he had to wait for too long for the moment to arrive. Only a couple of seasons after Mumbai Indians bought him for $2,000,000 (INR 9.2 crore) during IPL 2011 auction, he was appointed as their captain midway during IPL 2013 replacing legendary Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

Rohit Sharma Hoped To Replace Harbhajan Singh As Mumbai Indians’ Captain In IPL 2013

Rohit Sharma, who represented MI under Indian legends namely Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh in IPL 2011 and 2012 respectively, was hoping to lead them in 2013. However, his wait was extended by six more matches as the franchise not only bought Ponting in the auction (for INR 2.1 crore) but also named him as their captain in an unsurprising move.

During an interaction with ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in an Instagram LIVE session in May 2020, Rohit had revealed how he was expecting his name for the captaincy role of the franchise, but the management had other plans.

“In 2013, we got Ricky Ponting in the auction. In 2012, Sachin (Tendulkar) said he would not lead Mumbai and Harbhajan Singh was made the skipper. But in 2013, I don’t know why Bhajju paa (Harbhajan Singh) wasn’t made the captain. And I thought I will be made the captain but then Ponting was bought in the auction.”

Contrary to Rohit’s claim in the comments above regarding Harbhajan not being made MI captain in IPL 2013, the off-spinner had himself submitted his resignation from the post as he wanted another teammate to take up the job. The decision was taken despite Mumbai reaching the playoffs in his maiden season as captain.

Rohit Sharma’s Learning From Ricky Ponting Worked Wonders For Mumbai Indians

During the aforementioned chat with Ashwin, Rohit Sharma had also remarked how Ponting had a very positive impact on everyone in the squad, especially the youngsters. In fact, he was the first man to arrive in India ahead of the commencement of the sixth season of the cash-rich league.

In an interview with India Today a few months later (September 2020), he had also stated how Ponting helped him understand the importance of interacting with players who have been benched during the matches in order to make them feel important to the franchise.

“I want to make sure the 10 guys who are playing and the other players on the bench, I should be talking to them and make them feel important. That is something that I learned from Ricky Ponting. Those players will come out good or will be at their best when they are not under pressure.”

Not only did the Indians win their maiden IPL title in Rohit’s debut season as their captain, but he also lifted the Champions League T20 title five months later. A decade later, he now has led the franchise to a total of five IPL titles.

About the author

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh


Gurpreet Singh is a Cricket writer at The Sportsrush. His platonic relationship with sports had always been there since childhood, but Cricket managed to strike a special, intimate nerve of his heart. Although his initial dream of playing the sport at the highest level couldn't come to fruition, Gurpreet did represent the state of Jharkhand at the under-14 level. However, almost like taking a pledge to never let the undying passion for Cricket fade away even a tad, he made sure to continue the love relationship by assigning the field of journalism as an indirect Cupid. He thus, first finished his bachelor's in journalism and then pursued the PG Diploma course in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). Soon after and since 2019, he has been working at The Sportsrush. Apart from sports, he takes keen interest in politics, and in understanding women and gender-related issues.

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