After leading the Indian team to a 1-0 victory in a T20 series against New Zealand that gave a breather to the beleaguered format after a humiliating defeat at the recently-held T20 World Cup, the current Indian skipper Hardik Pandya has displayed the rise of a new leadership as he sights a promising venture in captaincy. When it has been considered that he would be replacing Rohit Sharma in the shortest format, Pandya has given an assurance to the players that he would be a 'people's man'.
India is currently touring New Zealand for three-T20 and three-ODI series. While India's skipper Rohit Sharma was given a break, the T20 side was led by all-rounder Hardik Pandya and veteran cricketer Shikhar Dhawan will be captaining the ODI team. India has completed its first leg of tour - playing T20 series under Hardik Pandya, who captained the Indian T20 team for the second time while he took the role earlier in June against Ireland.
Pandya, with the remarkable tenure of captaining the Gujarat Titans of the IPL that win the title in the previous edition, took over the baton in a good form in the shortest format. The team played three T20 matches and won the second game while the first and the final matches got abandoned and tied respectively in the wake of rain. By securing a victory, the Indian team won the series after delivering a formidable game show.
The team won the series on Tuesday- November 22 and all eyes were on Hardik Pandya after he was considered to replace Rohit Sharma in leading the T20 team. Pandya made some open talks as he divulged about his way of captaining the team after officially taking the baton. By assuring that he is a people's person, Pandya expressed confidence that he has skills to drive the players who would be hurt for not getting picked into the playing squad.
According to PTI, Pandya said if he is considered for leadership role in future, he will be captaining the team on his own way and his team will display the brand of cricket he knows best. During his address, Pandya was asked about how he takes the views of veterans Sunil Gavaskar or Ravi Shastri on him for a long-term captain, he said, "If people are saying, you feel good about it but till something happens - official announcement, you can't say."
He further said, "To be honest, my thing is simple, if I do one match or one series, I will lead the team my way, how I see and perceive the game. Whenever I am given the opportunity, I will always go out and play the brand of cricket I know. As a unit, we will display my brand. As far as whatever (captaincy) comes in future, we will see." Asked about key players Samson and Umran Malik missing out the game, Pandya stated that there is enough time for everyone to get enough opportunities.
Pandya asserted that he understands that people won't like sitting in the bench and there needs to be frank conversations where both captain and the player are able to express themselves. By citing that there won't be any difficulty in handling such situations, Pandya said, "I share a cordial rapport with all players and the players I am unable to pick, there is nothing personal and even they know it. It is because of combination I am not able to play them."
Expressing his mind that he is open for a talk with the players, the 29-year-old cricketer said, "I am a people's man and if anyone feels otherwise, my doors are always open to come and have chat with me. I understand their feelings. Sanju Samson is an unfortunate case. We had to play him but for some strategic reason, we couldn't play him." "If players are feeling bad, they can come speak to me or the coach. Going forward, if I remain the captain, I don't think that will be an issue. My behaviour and nature ensures that we are a close-knit unit", he added.