All-rounder Hardik Pandya would be leading Team India in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. This is not the first time, that Hardik would don the captaincy hat as he had led earlier this year during the two-match T20I series against Ireland. On the eve of the first T20I, head coach for the New Zealand tour, VVS Laxman heaped praise on Hardik, saying he has a good cricketing brain and the other players’ look up to him.
Just hours before the start of the first T20I, former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri cited the example of World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev to make a case for Hardik as the leader.
“He has got that flamboyance and that exuberance. So that will reflect on the players in the team. I remember when Kapil Dev was captain,” Shastri told broadcasters.
“When you have an impact player and when you have all-rounder, when you have a player who is on the thick of action right through those 20 overs, it makes a massive difference. It lifts the spirit of others; they want to emulate him. So, I’m really looking forward to the way Hardik leads,” he added.
The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been rested for the white-ball series against New Zealand, comprising three T20Is and three ODIs.
All these three players will return for the ODI and Test series against Bangladesh, slated to go ahead in December.