Irfan points out harsh reality behind picking Hardik as IND's next T20I captain – Hindustan Times

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With the T20 World Cup over, Team India once again hope to make a fresh start and continue their quest to end their long-standing trophy-less drought in ICC events. Many veterans have questioned continuing with Rohit Sharma as the leader, in the T20I format especially, given his age and the fact that the next T20 World Cup is two years away. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been backed for the role. However, former India cricketer Irfan Pathan is not convinced that India should go ahead with Hardik as he rather presented the harsh reality behind it.
Hardik’s first major stint as a captain was in the IPL earlier this year, where he led Gujarat Titans to a maiden title haul in their debut season. A month later, he was picked as the skipper for the Ireland tour of India. And later this week, he will be leading the Indian side again 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 a fast-bowling all-rounder. The India legend fears that India might find themselves in deep trouble if Hardik ends up being injured right before the World Cup and hence wants India to groom another leaders alongside Hardik.
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“I’m not saying that if you change the captain you change the result, if you go like that you’re not going to change the result. And with Hardik Pandya, you need to understand, we all need to understand, that he’s a fast bowling all-rounder. He has injury issues as well. What if he is your captain who is getting injured right before the World cup? And if you don’t have any other leader ready, you’ll be in a mess,” 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 need to find not one, but two leaders going forward to build their mark. You know just like we talk about openers – we need to have a group of openers, we also need to have a group of leaders,” he added.
The New Zealand T20I series begins from November 18 onwards.
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