Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya was a star in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). Having led the Gujarat Titans from the front and scoring 487 runs in 15 games and a total of four half-centuries, some sources say he could become India’s next captain in ODIs and T20Is.
According to the source, “We have this plan and we discussed it with Hardik. He has asked for some days for a response. No decision has been taken in this regard, but we are currently in the thought process to give him the white-ball captaincy, let us see how things go further.”
The first time the player was named captain of the Indian team was 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.
During the home series against South Africa that took place in June, Pandya was named vice-captain. India’s last match ended in a 2-2 draw after the final T20I was washed out.
In addition to leading India to victory, Pandya had plenty of achievements as a player this year. So far, he has scored 607 runs in 27 matches and 25 innings. He has also hit three half-centuries and the best individual score of 71.
This year, he has taken 20 wickets in the 20-over format, and in 3 ODIs, he has scored 100 runs in two innings and taken six wickets in the 50-over format.
The reason Pandya is being considered as India’s next white-ball captain is due to a rise of 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. It did not help that Rohit was causing dissatisfaction from his inconsistency with fitness.
Earlier this month, BCCI sacked Virat Kohli as India’s ODI captain and handed over the overall white-ball charge to Rohit Sharma. In one report, a BCCI insider stated, “The BCCI wanted absolute clarity between red-ball and white-ball cricket. The BCCI wanted a complete (leadership) separation between the longest format and shorter formats to avoid any confusion. In the end, it was left to the selectors to take a call. They decided to appoint Rohit as the new ODI captain.”
With Pandya’s record, there is plenty of expectations for the Indian player. Pandya has played in all 3 formats for India. In addition to the India Team, the all-rounder plays for the Baroda cricket team in domestic cricket. In the course of his career, the 27-year-old has made several records. One of them was that he smashed 26 runs against Sri Lanka’s PM Pushpakumara in a Test match in 2017. In 11 Tests, Pandya has scored 532 runs at 31.29, with a best of 108.
Currently, India is playing their Test match against Bangladesh and will have a T20 match against Sri Lanka on January 3. By that time, it should be confirmed whether Pandya will be acting as captain.