The selectors would do well to seriously consider Hardik Pandya for the leadership role in run-up to next T20 World Cup in 2024
Hardik Pandya has been appointed captain for the New Zealand series
What happens after failure? Less often there is a sudden spurt of success. More often it is introspection before success. And that’s what the people who run Indian cricket must do after a disappointing semi-final finish at the T20 World Cup in Australia.
The shortest form of the game has grown in popularity. Some pundits deem it more of entertainment than a sport, but it’s grown in significance. The Indian Premier League has triggered grand expectations and the cricketing public expects just this in T20 cricket on the world stage. Clearly, hard decisions need to be taken. Hardik Pandya was named captain of the T20 team to New Zealand while the World Cup was in progress. The selectors would do well to continue to have the perky all-rounder lead the team, groom his side for the next T20 World Cup in 2024.
Hardik Pandya (captain, pace-bowling all-rounder)
The Board has given every indication that they are not in favour of having leaders for different formats. A continuance of this practise will mean they are not moving with the times. At 29, Pandya is six years younger to Rohit. Yes, there is an injury threat with him, but grooming a good vice-captain can be a way out to nullify eventualities. The first name that comes to mind is Rishabh Pant. They both have an aggressive mindset needed for T20 cricket. Pandya at the moment, is in a good position to lead by example and that’s the tonic the T20 outfit needs.
Pant is too inspirational a player to come in only at the latter half of the World Cup campaign. The debate about Ravichandran Ashwin being in the T20 set up is as good as over. He’ll be a penetrative force in the longer forms—and with the next 50-over World Cup in India—he can be in that mix, but it looks like he’s played the last of his T20 internationals Down Under. Yuzvendra Chahal, who didn’t get a game in Australia, must come in as a regular.
India need an injection of pace in their armoury. It’s time to blood the young speedsters. Umran Malik missed out on the World Cup tour and if there is a hesitancy to pick him, just look at the young Pakistan attack in the tournament.
Rahul Dravid, the head coach has been a great servant of Indian cricket, but is it time for a new coach in the T20 dugout? The answer could well be a big yes. No better man than MS Dhoni to fill that seat. Good selectors always have good back-ups and in this case, Virender Sehwag could be an ideal one. If the effort is made to change with only results in mind, the Indian team will give no cause for pundits to call them timid. And the Board will not be accused of being so too. Let’s move on.
Make Hardik captain for next T20 WC: Kris
Hardik Pandya should be made full-time captain in the shortest format ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup and India need to start rebuilding from the limited over series in New Zealand, said former chairman of the selection committee Krishnamachari Srikkanth. “See if I was the chairman of the selection committee, I would say that Pandya should be the captain of the 2024 World Cup, straight away, I’d put it that way—number one,” Srikkanth told Star Sports. “And start rebuilding a side right from today, that is from the NZ series which is going to happen in a weeks’ time.”