The first T20 International of the three-match series between India and New Zealand got delayed due to rain on Friday. However, both India and New Zealand players were seen involved in a fun ‘football-volleyball’ session prior to the game in Wellington.
In a video shared by BCCI’s official Twitter account, players from both teams were seen enjoying the game which also included Yuzi Chahal, Sanju Samson, and Ish Sodhi as well. On the other hand, New Zealand’s official Twitter account also shared a video where NZ Players including skipper Kane Williamson were seen playing with his teammates while Yuzi Chahal and Sanju Samson watch them along with Ish Sodhi as well.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 18, 2022
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 18, 2022
Meanwhile, former India player turned stand-in Team India head coach VVS Laxman applauded Hardik Pandya’s calm nature as a leader and termed him a “players’ captain” prior to the three-match T20I series against New Zealand which is all set to begin on November 18. The all-rounder is all set to lead India for the third time, with senior players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and a few others being rested after T20 World Cup 2022 campaign in Australia.
“He is a fabulous leader” – VVS Laxman on Hardik Pandya
However, Rishabh Pant will be the deputy and will do the wicketkeeping duties as well. Meanwhile, Pandya’s leadership skill was one of the things that made headlines from the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he led Gujarat Titans (GT) to their first IPL title in their debut season as well.
VVS Laxman said, “He is a fabulous leader. We have seen what he has done with Gujarat Titans in the IPL. Taking leadership in the first year of the franchise in the tournament, and winning the league is not a mean achievement. I have spent a lot of time with him since the Ireland series, he is just not only tactically sound, but he is very calm on the field and that is something which is very important at the highest level.”
“There would be situations when you would be under pressure and that is when you are required to be calm as a leader. Also, his presence in the dressing room, and his work ethics are exemplary. The way he leads the side both on and off the field is fabulous. I think he is a players’ captain, he is very approachable. All the players go up to him and confide with him. I think that is something which I really like about Hardik, and he leads by example both on and off the field,” he continued.