Pandya also brings balance to the team with his medium speed bowling and explosive batting, which makes him an influential midfield player and former captain. Sunil Gavaskar believes the all-rounder will prove to be a game changer for India in the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia.
The focus now turns to ODI after India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 with the series opener being played on Friday at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Pandya will lead the Indian team in the first ODI in the absence of Rohit, who will miss the game due to family matters. Gavaskar sees this as an opportunity for Pandya to continue asserting leadership for another day after the World Cup.
The 29-year-old all-rounder, who captained the Gujarat Titans to victory in their first appearance in the Indian Premier League for the 2022 season, is already India’s incumbent leader in the short form best.
Gavaskar told Star Sports, “I am very impressed with his captaincy at T20 level for Gujarat Titans and for India as he captains the T20 team. I believe if he wins his first game. in Mumbai, you can almost seal him as captain of India after the World Cup ends in 2023.”
Gavaskar said Pandya’s presence in the middle order is essential for India.
“He can be an influential player as well as a game changer in the midfield. Even for the Gujarat team, he has promoted himself knowing that this is the time when the team needs some movement. drive and push, and he’ll do it,” Gavaskar said.
“So someone who is willing to take responsibility, to lead from the front and not ask the players to do something that he wants to do on his own, is very important,” he said.
Gavaskar added that Pandya’s style of captaincy also makes him a favorite among the players.
“What you see with Hardik Pandya as captain is a feeling of comfort with the rest of the team. Maybe it’s the way he treats the players, puts his arms around the players. … He seems to give the players a sense of comfort .
“It’s very important… to give the player a feeling of comfort so he can play his natural game. I think he’s encouraging them, which is a great sign.”
Meanwhile, former Indian player and commentator Ajit Agarkar has backed Rohit to shoot with a stick when he joins the Indian team.
“His record speaks for itself. You don’t have to say anything about Rohit’s performance in white-ball cricket. At times he has taken a slightly different approach, trying to be the trigger. aggressive top of the line,” said Agarkar.
“Maybe, he changed a bit in the last series, gave himself a little more time and made a hundred. I just hope he plays every game India plays from now on, every single one. once a day, because you want your captain to be knocked out there just to have a pattern of play,” he added.
(With PTI input)