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

Until Hardik Pandya was formally introduced as India’s next white-ball captain, it was just a matter of when. Whether it was just for the Sri Lanka series is unclear, but it has been verified that he has surpassed KL Rahul in the captaincy competition.

The selectors decided it was the ideal moment to name him the T20I captain in Rohit Sharma’s unavailability. For the ODI series, the all-rounder was named Rohit’s deputy. Up until the most recent series in Bangladesh, Rahul was the designated vice-captain for India. In the most recent ODI, he successfully led India without Rohit. 

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Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (PC-Getty Images)

How Hardik Pandya Looked As A Leader Was Surprising: Sanjay Manjrekar

Though Hardik had already guided India to victories in Ireland and New Zealand, the IPL 2022 season was the turning point for his leadership abilities. He quit the Mumbai Indians and was named skipper of the Gujarat Titans, a brand-new team. Hardik excelled with both the bat and the ball and guided GT to the championship on the first try. His leadership chart has continued to rise since that. 

Sanjay Manjrekar, a former Indian batter, claimed that very few individuals anticipated Hardik Pandya becoming as successful as a captain in the IPL. 

Hardik Pandya and Tim Southee
Hardik Pandya and Tim Southee (PC-Getty Images)

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“We were all taken by surprise. Come on, who thought Hardik Pandya would be such a raging success in the IPL as a captain? In a long season, just the way he handles the team. Just how he looked as a leader was surprising. Considering he is bowling now and the impact he is making on the field, this is the right time to reward Hardik with leadership,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo. 

KL Rahul’s Form Making His Situation A Little Tricky: Sanjay Manjrekar

KL Rahu’s decline in performance, Manjreker continued, was a significant factor in the right-hander’s loss of the vice-captaincy. 

“KL Rahul’s form is starting to make his situation a little tricky. He didn’t have a great T20 World Cup, looked out of sorts in the Test series against Bangladesh,” Manjrekar said. 

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. Pic Credits: Twitter.

Beginning on January 3, Hardik will captain a youthful Indian team in a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. With Hardik as the new captain, many people think that this marks the start of India’s preparatory work for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA. 

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