Is Hardik Pandya’s appointment as captain a sign of commodity more endless? Who’ll mate Ishan Kishan at the top? And will Samson eventually get a harmonious run?
Despite success in bilateral matches, there’s been an violent scrutiny of India’s approach in T20 justice – particularly around the fur – and their shortcomings at major events. The series that begins against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Tuesday is a chance at a fresh launch. With the focus shifting to the ODI World Cup at home this October and November, India have picked a fairly youthful team for the T20Is.
While Rohit Sharma, who appears to have been given assurances that he’ll continue to lead the 50- over side, is recovering from a cutlet injury, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been rested. Rishabh Pant wasn’t part of the series either, indeed before his serious auto accident on December 30, and stagers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar weren’t picked.
In Rohit’s absence, Hardik Pandya has formerly again been appointed India’s T20I captain. Only time will tell if he’s a temporary relief, or whether the elevation is a more endless creation, as India make towards the coming T20 World Cup. This series is a chance for Hardik to lead without the pressures of winning a major event at short notice – a luxury Rohit didn’t have; he took over with slightly eight months to prepare for the World Cup in Australia.
Hardik has made a strong print as a captain, ever since he was first appointed by Gujarat elephants ahead of IPL 2022. While it sounded like an unconventional move, Hardik snappily grew into the part as the event progressed. Player security, durability and part clarity came buzzwords around the group as elephants won the title in their debut season.
Kishan went on to be a part of India’s 2021 T20 World Cup team, but snappily lost his way. An underwhelming IPL 2022 season didn’t help his cause, indeed though he continued to feature in alternate- string Indian outfits.
Kishan may not have played that match had Rohit been fit, but not he is bound to get a longer run at the top of the order, especially with Rahul likely to be on particular leave for the New Zealand series too.
With Washington Sundar completely fit, India’s all- rounder stocks look healthy for the home series, with Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel to choose from as well, in addition to Hardik. Washington played only one T20I on the stint of New Zealand but his capability to drift in the powerplay and his ever- perfecting fur chops gives India options. He’d scores of 37 * out 16 balls in an ODI in New Zealand, and 51 and 37 in ODIs in Bangladesh.
Arshdeep Singh started as a powerplay specialist but his liabilities have grown in Jasprit Bumrah’s absence. His capability to nail the yorker and his calm disposition has made Arshdeep an asset in the death overs, and presently he’s the only left- arm leader in India’s T20 plans. He was India’s stylish bowler at the 2022 T20 World Cup and took 4 for 37 in the tied third T20I in New Zealand in November.
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