Hardik Pandya made a return to the Indian T20I squad as the vice-captain of the side for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka at home. He was rested from the ODI series against Bangladesh after leading the Indian T20I side in the T20I series against the Kiwis.
Pandya is also added to the ODI squad and has been named as the vice-captain despite the presence of KL Rahul in the squad. The three T20Is will be played on January 3, 5, and 7 followed by the three ODIs on 10, 12, and 15.
Hardik Pandya played consistently for India from the Asia Cup till the New Zealand series. The team under him won the T20I series 1-0 against the Kiwis. Since his comeback into the Indian white-ball sides after recovering from injury, Hardik has been a key player with both bat and ball.
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Pandya returned completely fit into the side and has been bowling as well as he has done in his career so far. He has been bowling across the phases of the game and with the bat has even batted at number four in crucial matches. The T20 World Cup game against Pakistan is a prime example where he won India the game batting up the order.
IPL Captaincy A Big Tick in Hardik Pandya’s CV
His captaincy stint with Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022 gave the Indian management a potential captaincy candidate in white-ball formats. He won the IPL title with the Titans in their debut year and scored runs and took wickets as well. This was very much the Hardik Pandya 2.0 after recovering from injury. He scored 487 runs at an average of and picked up 8 wickets in the season.
Sources close to Cricketaddictor said his leadership potential was a huge factor for the BCCI to reconsider as they understood his potential to lead the side.
He has already led the side in T20I against Ireland and New Zealand and won both series as well. It only validates his importance as a white-ball player in the current Indian team and his importance as an all-rounder in the squad as well.
Hardik Pandya Poised To Replace Rohit Sharma As Next ODI Skipper: Sources
The source further revealed that Hardik Pandya is primed to replace Rohit Sharma as India’s next white-ball format. The decision on how long will Rohit continue as the skipper depends on the current selection committee and how soon the next committee will be formed.
His injury concerns and recurrent breaks from international cricket are other reasons why the management is thinking of possibly replacing him sooner rather than later.
India’s ODI Squad for Sri Lanka
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (VC), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh