Ace Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has exorcised all his previous fitness ghosts and has embarked on a new beginning. The Baroda-based all-rounder is an emblem of grit and determination and is an integral part of India’s limited-overs setup. With Rohit Sharma being in the twilight of his career, selectors ought to have plans for choosing India’s next full-time captain in limited overs. And one person who ticks nearly all boxes in donning that role is Hardik Pandya. Let us delve deep into 3 reasons why Pandya can take the baton from Rohit Sharma:
1. Can contribute with both bat and ball
Since the age of Kapil Dev, there has been a dearth of fast-bowling all-rounders in India. While we might have had the likes of Irfan Pathan, Stuart Binny, Sanjay Bangar and Rishi Dhawan, we lacked a genuine consistent all-rounder. With the emergence of Hardik Pandya, the narrative has now changed. India can heavily bank on Hardik Pandya as he can contribute not just with the bat, but with the ball as well. Not to forget his exceptional fielding abilities too.
2. Is a senior member of the side
Hardik Pandya made his debut way back in 2016 and since then has represented India in 66 T20Is and 66 ODIs so far. With a truckload of experience under his belt, Hardik Pandya can now be safely labelled as a “senior member” of the side. He can guide the youngsters and get the best out of them. That’s essentially one of the requisites of a good captain.
3. Previous captaincy experience
Hardik Pandya led Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Gujarat Titans (GT) to the IPL trophy in their maiden season. His captaincy skills were astute and he took things on his shoulders. He got the best out of his younger players. He was named captain of India in the 2-match T20I series against Ireland in June 2022. Pandya’s Team India drubbed the home side in both the matches.