2022 has been a great year for the star all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Not just Pandya shed doubts about his fitness and ability to bowl, but he also made a stellar comeback and proved that he still deserved a spot in the Indian lineup. He recently led debutants Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League season title in their debut season.
After leading debutants Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title win in his first attempt as a captain, Hardik Pandya is all set to captain the Indian cricket team in the two-match T20I series against Ireland later this month.
Wasim Jaffer Made A Big Statement About Hardik Pandya
Post the big announcement by the BCCI, several former cricketers and experts have backed the decision by the Indian board. Among many, former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer feels that the selectors made the right choice in picking him as the captain and said that Pandya would be his first preference to lead India in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
Speaking on ESPNcricinfo, Jaffer expressed his thoughts about Hardik being named as the captain of the Indian side. He said:
“I think he deserves that. Going forward, Indian selectors should look at him seriously leading in white-ball cricket. Specially if Rohit Sharma is not available, I think Hardik Pandya should be the first choice,”
He added: “In my opinion, the way he led in the IPL, the way his own performances came through, he is someone who relishes that job and I think going forward, he’s probably my No.1 choice after Rohit Sharma. So, it does make sense that he’s leading the side,”
Furthermore, Wasim Jaffer also said that when Rohit is leading the Indian side he would want Hardik Pandya to be his deputy. He said:
“If Rohit is playing, I would like Hardik Pandya to be the vice-captain so any time when Rohit misses any game or any series (Hardik will get a chance),”
He added: “Hardik Pandya, especially in white-ball cricket, he’s somebody who enjoys that job and gets the best out of himself and others. He’s probably my next in line after Rohit Sharma,”
Team India squad for the Ireland series:
Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik