Will Kane Williamson Get Picked In IPL Auction? What Hardik Pandya Said
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was released by SunRisers Hyderabad ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction on December 23 in Kochi. All ten franchises were given November 15 as the deadline to submit their final list of released and retained players, and the Hyderabad-based franchise decided to let go of Williamson. India and New Zealand are slated to play three T20Is and three ODIs, beginning Friday, and ahead of the series, India captain Hardik Pandya was asked whether Williamson will be picked in the auction or not.
To this question, Hardik said: “For him, because he is a friend, yes. Rest it is okay. IPL is IPL, right now I am playing for India.
Further quizzed about whether Hardik’s franchise Gujarat Titans will go after Kane Williamson in the auction, Hardik said: “Don’t know, too far ahead to think about it now.”
India and New Zealand will be playing a white-ball series, just five days after the T20 World Cup came to an end. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul have been rested for the tour. Hardik Pandya will be leading in T20Is while Shikhar would don the captaincy hat in ODIs.
In the World Cup, India lost the semi-final against England and there was heavy criticism as the side once again failed to go all the way in an ICC event.
“I mean, yes, we all know there is a disappointment of the World Cup but we are professionals, we need to cope up with it. How we cope up with our successes as well, we need to cope up with our failures as well. We need to go forward and look forward and kind of rectify the mistakes we made and make sure we do not repeat that,” said Hardik.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been very outspoken in his criticism of Team India, saying the Men in Blue have been underachievers in white-ball cricket, and he even asked what the side have done after the 2011 World Cup triumph.
When asked about Vaughan’s criticism, in particular, Hardik said: “When you do not do well, people will have opinions which we respect. I understand people are coming with different points of view. But being at the international level, I do not think we need to prove anything to anyone. It is a sport, you keep trying and you keep getting better. When the result is supposed to happen, it will happen. But yes, definitely things we need to work on, which we are aware of and we will rectify it.”
When asked about the roadmap for the 2024 T20 World Cup, Hardik said: “Next T20 World Cup will be almost two years, if I am not wrong. Till then, we have time, and a lot of people will get chances as a lot of cricket will be played. The roadmap starts now, but it is too far ahead right now. We have time, we will start having conversations on those grounds, right now, it is about making sure that we let the boys enjoy themselves while playing here. Let them enjoy right now, we will talk about the future later on.”
Further talking about the upcoming New Zealand series, Hardik Pandya said: “Absolutely. As you said, a lot of the main guys are not here but at the same time, the players who are here have also been playing for India for a good amount of 1-1.5 years, even they have had ample chances, and enough time in international cricket to express themselves and showcase what they have. Very excited for them, new bunch and new energy.”
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