With India failing to win yet another ICC title, opinions are coming in left, right and centre and many have started debating on who should lead the team in the 2024 T20 World Cup. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, Team India reached the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup, but a poor performance at the penultimate stage against England, saw them crashing out. Former India opening batter K Srikkanth has now said that Hardik Pandya should lead the side in the 2024 World Cup, slated to be held in the West Indies and USA.
“See if I was the Chairman of the selection committee, I would say that Hardik Pandya should be the captain of the 2024 World Cup, straight away, I’d put it that way – number one. And start rebuilding a side right from today, that is from the New Zealand series which is going to happen in a weeks’ time. You start from today, the preparation for the World cup, you need to understand, starts 2 years in advance,” Srikkanth said on Star Sports’ show ‘Match Point’.
“So, you do whatever you want to do, the trial-and-error policy, do whatever you want, try it for one year, then you form a team and by 2023 make sure this is going to be at the level that is going to play the World Cup. And as both Bish and Irfan pointed out, you need more fast-ball all-rounders. Let’s see, 1983 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2007 T20 World Cup, why did we win? We had many fast-ball all-rounders and semi all-rounders. So, to identify these guys – guys like Hooda, there are going to be so many more Hoodas,” he added.
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan spoke on the importance of having a group of leaders in the squad who can take the team forward.
“So, I’m not saying that if you change the captain, you change the result, if you go like that, you’re not going to change the result. And with Hardik Pandya, you need to understand, we all need to understand, that he’s a fast-bowling all-rounder. He has injury issues as well. What if he is your captain who is getting injured right before the World cup? And if you don’t have any other leader ready, you’ll be in a mess,” said Pathan.
“So, what I personally think is that Hardik Pandya is a leader, who has done very well in the Gujarat Titians, won IPL, won the championship trophy. You need to find not one, but two leaders going forward to build their mark. You know just like we talk about openers – we need to have a group of openers, we also need to have a group of leaders,” he added.
India will next take on New Zealand in three T20Is and as many ODIs. In the shortest format, Hardik Pandya would be the captain while in ODIs, seasoned pro Shikhar Dhawan would don the captaincy hat.
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