Just a few days ago, sources said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya was up for consideration as India’s next captain in ODIs and T20Is.
Now the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has announced that Hardik will be the team’s new T20 Captain. In addition, it’s confirmed that the player will be also acting as the ODI vice-captain in KL Rahul’s place.
While Hardik will be taking the baton from Rohit Sharma for the T20, the final decision will only be made when new selectors come in. It’s most likely that Hardik will remain India’s captain till the 2024 T20 World Cup.
At this time, Rohit Sharma is unlikely to be picked for this T20 series versus Sri Lanka. In addition to Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja are also unlikely to be risked. However, Rahul, Bumrah, and Jadeja will return in the ODI series.
The reason Bumrah and Jadeja will not be risked is that both players suffered different injuries. So far, Jadeja has received an injury assessment before the IPL auction. It was reported that the player is progressing well, but he is still not 100% and will continue on the side-lines. He is likely to return for the New Zealand series.
As for Bumrah, it’s reported that he is recovering well from the back injury that cost him missing the T20 World Cup. However, there are no concrete details on when the player will return.
Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, sustained an injury during the 2nd ODI between India and Bangladesh. With the Australia series coming up in February, the BCCI doesn’t want to take any risks. The medical team will conduct an injury assessment. He will return only if he is 100%.
According to one report, a senior BCCI official stated, “Rohit is yet to be 100% and we don’t want to take any risk when it comes to injury. Jadeja and Bumrah are back at the NCA. Their prognosis is good. If they clear the fitness test, they will be eligible for selection. But considering the workload in ODIs, it is only natural that they will return for the ODIs. T20s are not our focus currently.”
At this time, it’s reported that the player is feeling some stiffness in his thumb and that the BCCI medical team has advised Rohit a complete rehab. While it’s not certain, sources say that his recovery could take three to four weeks.
The reason that Hardik was considered for the white-ball captain role was due to a rise in demand for a captaincy change since Team India suffered a shocking exit from the T20 World Cup 2022 and Asia Cup in UAE, earlier this year.
This is not the first time that Hardik has acted as captain for the India team. Before this, Hardik acted as captain for the team when they went to Ireland to play two T20Is. During that time, India won the series 2-0. He also led the squad in a T20I series against West Indies and New Zealand, which India won 4-1 and 1-0 respectively.