India National Cricket Team
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

Former Australian spin bowler Brad Hogg opined that Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya to lead the second-string T20I side based on his all-round abilities and leadership skills shown in IPL 2022.

Ahead of the five-match T20I series against South Africa, Indian opener KL Rahul, who was initially named captain of the 18-member squad, was ruled out due to a groin injury. Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant was elevated to the captain’s role and Hardik was named his deputy for the South Africa T20Is.

Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans to IPL 2022 title in franchise’s first season

Hardik tasted major success with Gujarat Titans as their captain and led them to title triumph in the first season itself. The Indian all-rounder scored 487 runs with the bat, the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament, and returned eight wickets with the ball.

Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans
Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans. (Photo: IPL)

With India losing the first two matches of the T20I series against Temba Bavuma and his men, questions are being raised on Pant’s tactics and style of captaincy.

Hardik Pandya should be captain of this T20 team in front of Rahul: Brad Hogg

Ahead of the second T20I match, Hogg said Hardik is the most valuable T20 player at the moment and duly deserves to lead the national side ahead of Rahul and Pant.

“Hardik Pandya should be captain of this T20 team in front of Rahul. He proved his worth in the IPL. He wants those tough moments when the team’s back is against the wall. He wants to go out there and deliver, whether it’s with a bat or ball,” Hogg said in a video posted on his official Instagram on Sunday (June 12). 

Brad Hogg. Photo- Youtube
Brad Hogg. Photo- Youtube

“The other night (1st T20I), he came in during those final overs and was able to find the boundary from ball one. Not too many people can do that. And he can go up and do the job at the top of the order if they lose early wickets as well. He is the most valuable T20 cricketer going around in world cricket right now,” Hogg added.

Hardik couldn’t replicate his 12-ball 31 in the second T20I as he was clean bowled by South African pacer Wayne Parnell for nine runs. South Africa rode on the brilliance of wicketkeeper Heinrich Klassen (81 from 46 balls) in the tricky chase of 146.

Also Read: IND vs SA: Twitter Reacts As South Africa Defeat India By 4 Wickets In 2nd T20I To Continue Their Dominance