The Indian Cricket Board announced a 16-man squad for the first two matches of the five-match test series against England which is set to commence on January 25 in Hyderabad. However, what should have been a moment of celebration took an unexpected turn, thanks to a social media misstep by Mumbai Indians, one of the most popular franchises in the Indian Premier League.
In a move that raised eyebrows and garnered criticism, Mumbai Indians chose an unconventional approach to announce India's Test squad on their social media platforms. Instead of featuring the designated captain, Rohit Sharma, in their creative, they showcased images of KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, and Shreyas Iyer.
Fans' strong reaction to Rohit Sharma’s omission
This omission of Rohit Sharma's photo ignited a wave of discontent among his ardent fanbase. The creative had the names of the players but lacked the former Mumbai Indians' captain's image, a move that did not sit well with Rohit Sharma's supporters.
The repercussions of MI's social media blunder were swift. Angry reactions flooded the comments section, with many Rohit Sharma fans expressing their disappointment. Reports emerged that a substantial number of MI followers on Instagram decided to unfollow the team, a clear sign of the discontent brewing among the fans.
However, the new captain, Hardik Pandya, who took over from Rohit Sharma ahead of the IPL 2024, faced brutal trolling on various social media platforms. As he left Mumbai, chants of "Rohit Sharma" echoed at the airport. However, Hardik Pandya maintained a stoic silence in response to the hate directed at him, showing resilience in the face of adversity.
Amidst the turmoil, the Test squad announcement brought a surprising inclusion – Dhruv Jurel. For those not closely following Indian cricket, Dhruv Jurel's name might be relatively unfamiliar. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh's Agra, he is the son of a retired Hawaldar in the Indian Army.
The squad's composition is noteworthy for including three wicketkeepers – Dhruv Jurel, KL Rahul, and KS Bharat. However, the absence of Ishan Kishan raised eyebrows, especially after his recent break from cricket due to mental fatigue.