All-rounder Hardik Pandya is the front-runner to become the next Team India captain in the T20 format. His success leading the Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League 2022 season, has rocketed chances to take over the leadership duties from Rohit Sharma. However, former cricketer Irfan Pathan feels that India should groom another skipper alongside Hardik Pandya, given the all-rounder’s injury-ridden career.
Hardik Pandya led the Indian team earlier this year in T20Is against Ireland. He will once again take up the responsibility on India’s tour of New Zealand, later this month. Irfan Pathan agreed that Hardik Pandya is the front-runner to lead India at the 2024 T20 World Cup. However, he also added that the all-rounder has had various troubles due to injuries, and India should at the same time keep other captaincy options ready.
“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,” said Irfan Pathan on Star Sports show ‘Match Point’.
India needs to find two leaders going forward to build their mark: Irfan Pathan
Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan further highlighted Hardik Pandya’s success as the leader of the Gujarat Titans. He expressed that India needs to have two leaders in the T20 format to build their mark going forward. Irfan Pathan stated,
“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.”