Former Indian cricketer turned coach Wasim Jaffer is highly impressed with the way Hardik Pandya led the side in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. Referring the all-rounder as a brave captain, Jaffer added that he is enjoying the additional responsibilities as well.
With regular captain Rohit Sharma being rested for the New Zealand tour, Hardik Pandya was named captain for the T20I series, where he led the team to a 1-0 series win. Jaffer praised him and told ESPNcricinfo:
“He is not scared of taking risks. We saw that he gave (Deepak) Hooda in the 19th over in the last match. Hooda has not been trusted with the ball in the past. But he gave good returns, claiming three wickets in the last over. Hardik will have to face failures as well going forward, but he looks like a brave captain.”
While explaining the best aspects of Pandya’s leadership, Jaffer said his calm demeanour and the space he gives teammates to express themselves makes him different from others as well. The former India opener again expressed:
“I have been following Hardik’s captaincy since the IPL and I am quite impressed. He won the IPL in his first season as leader. The praiseworthy aspect of his captaincy is that he looks relaxed and it seems he gives players freedom. He himself is enjoying it, and the burden of captaincy doesn’t seem to affect him.”
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) November 22, 2022
Hardik Pandya made headlines with his leadership skill
However, this was his second stint as stand-in captain. He had earlier led the team to a 2-0 win against Ireland. While speaking of the third and final T20I of the series in Napier, Team India returned well to tie the knock via the D/L method. Batting first, New Zealand were 130/2 in the 16th over before losing eight wickets for 30 runs and were all out for 160 as well.
Notably, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh did well for India, claiming four wickets each. Praising the duo, Wasim Jaffer credited them for the tie as well. While Siraj was named Player of the Match for his career-best figures of 4/17, Arshdeep Singh registered a figures of 4/37 as well. He concluded:
“Around the 16-over mark, when New Zealand had only lost two wickets, it seemed that they might reach 180-190 or perhaps even 200. The ground in Napier is small. But Siraj and Arshdeep’s comeback is commendable. The way Arshdeep has bowled and the way Siraj bowled in both T20Is are positives for the team.”