Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya was handed over the reins as regular skipper, Rohit Sharma, opted to rest in the fifth and final T20I of the 5-match series against the West Indies on Sunday.
Rohit had a good outing in the series and he led the team to an unassailable 3-1 lead. Ahead of the final game, he opted to sit out while giving Ishan Kishan a chance to make his case to be in the playing XI.
With Rohit out, Hardik was made the captain and he will be leading for the first time since donning the same role during the Ireland tour in June. Additionally, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav were also rested from the game.
Shreyas Iyer also returns to the fold; it will be interesting to see where he will bat. Sanju Samson gets another opportunity following his 30-run knock in the first innings while Deepak Hooda also receives an extended run.
Speaking at the toss, Hardik said the team would look to continue the winning run and ensure there is no complacency in how they go about their business considering the match is a dead rubber.
“We want to bat. We saw how the wicket slowed down yesterday. We want to bat on a fresher wicket. We are like we are not playing at Miami. 99 percent of the fans are supporting India.”
“No matter what happens, we have set some standards for the Indian cricket team. We need to go out there and showcase our skill set. Obviously, the coach, the captain and senior members have done a tremendous job. 4 changes to the team,” he said.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Hardik Pandya being named the skipper:
Rohit Sharma resting today
Captain Hardik Pandya time ✅
— R A T N I S H (@LoyalSachinFan) August 7, 2022
Rohit Sharma has been rested from the 5th T20i. Hardik Pandya captaining.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) August 7, 2022
Hardik Pandya is leading the Indian team for the 5th T20.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) August 7, 2022
No Rohit Sharma today & Hardik Pandya leading the side #WIvIND
— Rajesh Khilare (@Cricrajeshpk) August 7, 2022
— CRICKETNMORE (@cricketnmore) August 7, 2022
Clear indication that Hardik Pandya moves ahead in the pecking order for limited overs captaincy followed by KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. #WIvIND
— Sameer Allana (@HitmanCricket) August 7, 2022
Captain Hardik Pandya! 🤩
Go well, Harry! 🥳 @hardikpandya7
— Kunal Yadav (@kunaalyaadav) August 7, 2022
Hardik Pandya gives full captaincy vibes when talking. This Indian team is too exciting. Loving it 😍
— Sufiyan Mohammad 🇮🇳 (@iamsufiyaan7) August 7, 2022
— Diamond Biscuit (@DiamondBiskit) August 7, 2022