Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels the Indian team shouldn’t put all their efforts into grooming just Hardik Pandya as their future captain. He explained that the all-rounder has been in and out of the side because of his injuries and that might play a role in his longevity as captain in future as well.
Notably, a few times ago, Hardik Pandya wasn’t able to bowl and had to take time away from cricket to recover from his back injury as well. His willpower and hard work helped him return into action and he will now lead the Indian team in the T20I series against New Zealand starting next week as well.
Speaking to Star Sports, Irfan Pathan said:
“So, 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.”
“You need to find not one, but two leaders going forward” – Hardik Pandya
However, Irfan Pathan further added that if Hardik Pandya gets injured just before the World Cup, India need to have some other options to replace him as well. And, grooming more leaders could also help the team management rotate Hardik Pandya while keeping his workload management in mind as well.
“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,” Irfan Pathan concluded.
However, Hardik Pandya’s second assignment as India’s T20I captain will start on November 18 as well.