Team India’s all-rounder cricketer Hardik Pandya is likely to replace Rohit Sharma as the next white ball skipper in ODI and T20I series. According to ANI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is currently carrying out this transition strategy. The opportunity has reportedly been discussed with Hardik Pandya, and the BCCI is waiting for his response.
The star all-rounder only plays white-ball cricket and has been consistent since his comeback to international cricket in June 2022. Cricketer Hardik proved his potential as a captain by leading Gujarat Titans to an IPL triumph in their debut season and was also in the lead in the competition to become the Indian cricket team’s T20I captain. Now it appears that Pandya could be granted full control of the white-ball teams to become the new captain of the Indian Cricket Team.
Following the 2021 T20 World Cup, Rohit was given leadership of the T20I team and the home series against New Zealand. In December 2021, he succeeded Virat Kohli as the ODI captain. Rohit was the full-time captain for the Men in Blue, but owing to an injury, he was unable to lead the team in his first ODI series against South Africa. Additionally, he was absent for the Bangladesh Test Series.
Rohit took over the Test captaincy in 2022 after Kohli stepped down but was only able to lead the Men in Blue in 2 Test matches due to his fitness issues. Since February 2022, Sharma has been facing injuries. Due to a calf injury, the Indian cricket captain was unable to participate in the ODI and Test series against the Kiwis during their early 2020 visit to New Zealand. The cricketer injured himself while batting in Mount Maunganui’s fifth and final T20I of the series.
After the New Zealand trip, there was an unforeseen respite for the Indian cricket team when COVID-19 caused chaos throughout the world. It was necessary to postpone even the Indian Premier League (IPL). Even when cricket returned many months later, not much had changed for Rohit in terms of his injury problems.
After suffering a hamstring injury, Rohit missed a few IPL 2020 games for the Mumbai Indians (MI) team. He was not included in either of the teams chosen for the Australia tour in October 2020 due to worries about his fitness. India was slated to play four tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is in Australia.
In the elimination rounds, he led MI once again, and in the championship game against the Delhi Capitals (DC), he top-scored with 68 runs in 51 balls. Mumbai went on to win the IPL title, but several supporters and detractors questioned if he would be fit to play in the Test matches in Australia.
High expectations were placed on the Indian captain for the South Africa tour of 2021–2022, following his outstanding performance in the Test series in England during the 2021 trip. Rohit was India’s best scorer in England, hitting 368 runs in four games at an average of 52.57, opening the innings in foreign Tests for the first time.
Unfortunately, the Indian batter’s Test tour of South Africa was cut short after he injured his left hamstring during a nett session in Mumbai. He was replaced in the Test team by Priyank Panchal.
Prior to the start of the Test series, Rohit was selected as the team’s captain for the ODI series. He did not, however, make a quick recovery and also missed the three-match one-day series. In his absence, KL Rahul led the squad as India was defeated 0-3 in the match.
After much uncertainty over his health, the Indian skipper was ultimately permitted to play in the final two Tests of the Australian tour. He performed admirably, earning ratings of 26, 52, 44, and 7. Rohit’s inconsistency in maintaining fitness had forced the BCCI to seek a replacement in the leadership.
After helping the Gujarat Titans win the IPL for the first time in 2022, Hardik’s reputation as a captain improved. India’s current captain, Rohit Sharma, has an outstanding track record in international T20 games. Although he has never lost a series while leading India, the team’s failure to claim the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup has cast doubt on his track record.
Let’s look at Hardik Pandya’s track record in the Indian Premier League
Hardik has displayed his extravagant stroke play throughout his IPL career and has amused himself by dismantling bowling attacks. He has defeated the finest bowlers in the past to establish his dominance in the IPL arena, proving that he is capable of defeating even them when on form. Cricketer Hardik has also played the ball flawlessly, giving his team important breakthroughs.
Hardik, though, struggled to settle in the lucrative T20 competition. The right-handed hitter had a few memorable hits in his first IPL season, but he was quite erratic overall, scoring just 112 runs in nine games. He then had a disastrous 2016 season with the bat, scoring only 44 runs in 11 games. Furthermore, in his first two editions, he also struggled to make an impression with the ball.
The Mumbai Indians supported Hardik and showed faith in him despite his setbacks in the 10th Indian Premier League. The Indian all-rounder earned the team’s trust by putting on a performance at the plate. In 17 games, he scored 250 runs at an astounding strike rate of 156.25, including 20 maximums. Additionally, he claimed six wickets for an 8.19 economy. Pandya’s accomplishments helped Mumbai win the trophy that particular year.
Later, in the 2018 campaign, Hardik’s all-around prowess caused a stir in the premier competition. He played in 13 games and scored 260 runs with a 133.33 strike rate. The flashy bowler had an economy rate of 8.92 while taking 18 wickets in those matches.
Hardik became a force in the 2019 IPL and was a key figure in Mumbai’s fourth title victory. In 16 games, he scored 402 runs at a mind-blowing strike rate of 191.42, including a scorching 91-run knock off just 34 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 47th round of the league. He completely destroyed every bowling attack that came his way. The talented all-rounder also had a brilliant bowling performance, taking 14 wickets with an economy of 9.17.
Pandya continued his stellar play with the Mumbai franchise in the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), scoring 281 runs in 14 matches at an incredible strike rate of 178.98. However, he did not bowl because of a back problem. The great all-rounder was once again utilised as a real batter the next season to help him control his workload, but he performed only passably, scoring 127 runs in 12 games with a strike rate of 113.3.
Cricketer Hardik Pandya played a key role in Mumbai’s triumph in the T20 tournament. However, the five-time IPL champions also featured elite athletes like Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rohit Sharma in their ranks. The team administration chose the foursome instead of keeping Pandya for the 2022 season due to concerns about his fitness.
The Gujarat Titans made Hardik their top draught choice and gave him control of the team before the 2022 mega auction. Gujarat’s ruse sparked a lot of questions because the Indian all-rounder has no prior experience leading a team on a major stage. But what happened next was really something.
Is Hardik Pandya the next MS Dhoni?
Gujarat won the IPL in their first season because of Hardik’s outstanding leadership abilities. With 487 runs in 15 matches at an economy of 131.27, he finished the main event as GT’s leading run-getter thanks to his exceptional batting. Additionally, he filled in as the sixth bowler when necessary and contributed eight wickets at an economy of 7.28, including a remarkable three-wicket haul in the championship match against the Rajasthan Royals.
The Indian Premier League is now Hardik’s happy hunting ground because of his amazing achievements. The legendary all-rounder has left his mark on history several times during the course of his illustrious IPL career with his feats on the cricket field.
Pandya had already been selected as the captain of the Indian team that travelled to Ireland to play two T20Is. The series was won 2-0 by India. The following T20I series between India and the West Indies, which India won 4-1, saw cricketer Pandya appointed vice-captain.
Pandya, who appeared in 27 T20 matches and amassed 607 runs in 25 innings at an average of 33.72, with three half-centuries and the top individual score of 71*, has been in exceptional form last year. Additionally, he has taken 20 wickets in the 20-over format this year. Pandya has scored 100 runs in two innings in three One-Day Internationals this year, with a high score of 71*. Additionally, he has six wickets this year in the 50-over format.
Rohit’s withering form and Hardik Pandya’s meteoric rise in the shortest format of white ball cricket is reason enough for the BCCI to appoint Pandya as the new white ball leader for Team India.