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Wouldn’t be surprised if we see Hardik Pandya leading India: Scott Styris

Bengaluru, Aug 10: Hardik Pandya’s comeback has been sensational, with many backing him as a potential candidate to lead the Indian national team in the future.

Pandya made a statement, as he led new IPL franchise Gujarat Titans to the coveted crown in their maiden season. Not only did Pandya show his leadership skills, the Indian cricketer contributed with both bat and ball. Pandya carried his form into international cricket, and having led the side with conviction in the absence of Rohit Sharma, many believe Pandya can be considered as an Indian captain in the future.

One of those voices is that of former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris. Speaking exclusively on Sports18’s daily sports news show 'Sports Over The Top’, former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris spoke about Hardik Pandya taking up the leadership role in future.

“I think it's an intriguing discussion because again, six months ago, I don't think it's something we all thought would even be talked about, but Hardik Pandya has made every poster winner, as Saba says. And you know, you see it a lot in football, where players of character and personality are often given the armband to be captain to also allow them to show some responsibility.

“So, I don't mind this for Hardik Pandya, to be given some leadership in this side, whether it now be the vice-captain or in the future as a captain because quite rightly what is the direction this Indian team wants to go, whether it's T20 in terms of its brand, how do they want to play the game?

“Because Hardik Pandya certainly has the personality of today's player, where they want to go out and expand and show their skills and really just show off to everybody with how good they are. And I think that sort of leadership actually breeds itself and lends itself throughout the team to everybody playing with that style. So, I wouldn't be surprised maybe not for this tournament, but in the future that we do see Hardik Pandya leading this T20 team.”

'KL is a genuine match winner’

Meanwhile talking about India’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup, Styris said, “KL Rahul was a simple decision probably of all the possible match-ups that we’ve discussed, I think this was the easiest one. You see, how valuable to the Indian team to the management and to the selectors he is because he’s been given the vice-captaincy as well.

“So that says that he was always a frontline player in this Indian side and I guess it’s unlucky for Ishan Kishan, he’s got that left-handed ability which I think they’d have loved to have got into the squad if they possibly could have because it’s a very right-handed dominant side until to get to someone like Rishabh Pant. So, I think he’ll be disappointed and naturally, he’s a terrific player. But KL Rahul, it is great for India that he’s back because you know, he’s a genuine match winner on the biggest stage too.”

Meanwhile former Indian selector Saba Karim backed Avesh Khan’s selection for the upcoming Asia Cup. Speaking on the show, Karim said, “I feel once you have invested in youngsters like Avesh Khan, you possibly can't leave them out to be barbecued and such youngsters haven't done anything wrong.

“I can understand Mohammed Shami on current form is a strong bet more so with Jasprit Bumrah out due to injury but it just feels that the selectors want to have that kind of security and they want to persist with the youngsters whom they have shown so much of faith,” stated Karim.

The Asia Cup is set to get underway from August 27th and will conclude on September 11. The 15th edition of the tournament will be played in the UAE.

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Story first published: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 23:04 [IST]
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