Hardik Pandya Should Repay The Favour He Received From Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma: Shoaib Akhtar

Updated - 25 Nov 2023, 02:18 PM

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credits: Twitter)

Shoaib Akhtar has spoken about Hardik Pandya replacing Rohit Sharma as India’s full-time T20I captain. With the ODI World Cup done and dusted, all eyes are now firmly fixed on next year’s T20 World Cup. One of the biggest talking points at the moment is the future of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the shortest format of the game.

As of now, there is little clarity over the senior duo’s role in the T20I side. Neither Virat Kohli nor Rohit Sharma has played any T20I for Team India since the conclusion of the T20 World Cup last year. In the last year, the selectors have tried out different youngsters in the batting lineup in order to form the strongest possible squad for the next T20 World Cup.

According to media reports, the BCCI has left the decision to play the T20 World Cup to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The doors are still open for them for the marquee event. And while only time will tell how things unfold, former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has thrown his support behind the senior batters.

“If you ask do Rohit and Kohli have cricket left in them? Yes, definitely. Do you get a better opener than Rohit in the world right now? No, you don’t,” Shoaib Akhtar said on Zee News.

Shoaib Akhtar urges Hardik Pandya to be respectful:

Speaking further, Shoaib Akhtar said that the onus will be on T20I captain Hardik Pandya to give Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli a respectable send-off. He stated that Pandya should repay the favor he received from both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma before saying that the senior players are legends of Indian cricket and deserve a respectable farewell.

“When Dhoni came, he gave respect to Sachin Tendulkar. When Virat came, he respected Dhoni. When Rohit replaced Virat, he also gave him respect. So, now it’s up to Hardik Pandya how he wants to send these two great players off. It’s up to him now to put his foot down,” said Shoaib Akhtar.

“And he has to bid them goodbye respectfully. They deserve this respect. I’m maybe putting pressure on Hardik Pandya through this but he needs to give that respect to Rohit and Kohli. He is in the team because of them. The kind of favors he has got in the team from them should be repaid. And they are legends of Indian cricket, so they should be given due respect before they are let go,” he added.


Hardik Pandya India National Cricket Team Rohit Sharma Shoaib Akhtar Virat Kohli