All eyes will be on Hardik Pandya when a young Team India takes on Ireland in a 2-match T20I series, starting from June 26. The all-rounder had a commendable captaincy stint in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, leading his team, Gujarat Titans, to its maiden title victory. His return to form and excellent leadership allowed the selectors to try him as India captain for the upcoming overseas tour.
Since the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and other senior players are in the United Kingdom for the rescheduled 5th Test against England, Pandya will lead a bunch of youngsters in Ireland. Several cricket experts have lauded the all-rounder’s way of leading a team. Former India women’s team head coach WV Raman is the latest individual to join the bandwagon.
Speaking with News24 Sports, Raman opined that Pandya leading the Men in Blue will be an exciting aspect of the Ireland T20Is.
“There will be excitement in this series because Hardik Pandya is becoming the new captain of the Indian team. The way he captained an IPL team raises everyone’s expectations. His habit of taking responsibility was the best thing I found in the IPL. The expectation is that he will continue in the same way, will motivate everyone nicely,” Raman told News24 Sports.
“The second thing is that Hardik Pandya is a good all-rounder, he has started bowling again, so this will give the team good balance when we go to the World Cup. Once his confidence increases in the bowling, Hardik Pandya becomes an extremely important member of the team,” he added.
On being asked if Hardik should be India’s first choice as T20I skipper after Rohit Sharma. WV Raman said,
“He did good captaincy for an IPL franchise but you will have to see how he leads the Indian team because here there is a selection committee. We will have to see what is their convictions, ideas, and views after seeing his captaincy so that they can make a decision based on that.”
While Pandya was named the skipper, he will have senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar as his deputy for the series. Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik will also be traveling to Ireland with the squad.