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Why Has Hardik Pandya Removed Rohit Sharma From MI's Playing XI vs KKR?

Rohit is not in MI's playing XI vs KKR [AP]Rohit is not in MI's playing XI vs KKR [AP]

In a significant development, Mumbai Indians have won the toss and elected to bowl in their eleventh group-stage IPL 2024 match against Kolkata Knight Riders. 

At toss, MI skipper Hardik Pandya stated that they would bowl first, considering the batting-friendly nature of the surface. 

The hosts have made a solitary change to their playing XI from the last game, replacing veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi with promising batter Naman Dhir. 

In another move, the five-time champions have also excluded ex-captain Rohit Sharma from the playing XI, keeping him among the impact substitutes. 

Why have MI kept Rohit among impact subs? 

As MI have opted to bowl, they have fielded a formidable side for this high-voltage contest. However, as they don't have any other opening option in their playing XI, it seems that they have rested Rohit during their fielding, and the veteran player is likely to open the batting in the second half alongside Ishan Kishan. 

They might have taken the move to manage the workload of Rohit, who is all set to lead India in the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA. 

After a valiant ton against arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings, Rohit hasn't done anything significant with the bat, managing only 18 runs in his last three outings. 

However, he continues to be an asset for MI and is expected to bring out his A-game against the Knight Riders at home.