With the T20 World Cup over, Team India hopes to make a fresh start once again and continue their quest to end their prolonged trophy-less drought in ICC events. Many veterans have questioned Rohit Sharma continuing as leader, especially in the T20I format, given his age and the fact that the next T20 World Cup will take place in two years. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been endorsed for the role. However, former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan is not convinced that India should go ahead with Hardik as he previously presented the harsh reality behind it.
Hardik’s first major stint as captain was in the IPL earlier this year where he led Gujarat Titans to a first title in their debut season. A month later he was selected as skipper for the India tour of Ireland. And later this week, he will once again lead the Indian squad in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand.
Speaking on Star Sports show ‘Match Point’, Irfan pointed out that Hardik is an injury prone player given his role in the side as an all-rounder who bowls fast. The Indian legend fears that India could be in big trouble if Hardik is injured just before the World Cup and therefore wants India to prepare another leader besides Hardik.
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“I’m not saying if you change the captain you change the result, if you go like this you’re not going to change the result. And with Hardik Pandya you have to understand, we all have to understand, that he is a fast bowling all-rounder. He also has injury problems. What if he’s your captain who gets injured just before the World Cup? And if you don’t have another leader on hand, you’re in trouble,” Irfan said.
“So, what I personally think is that Hardik Pandya is a leader, who has done very well in the Gujarat Titians, won IPL, won the championship trophy. You have to find not one but two leaders moving forward to make their You know just like we talk about openers — we need a group of openers, we also need a group of leaders,” he added.
The New Zealand T20I series will start from November 18.