Ex-India Selector Names Hardik Pandya’s Biggest Competitor For T20I Captaincy | Cricket News

Ex-India Selector Names Hardik Pandya’s Biggest Competitor For T20I Captaincy | Cricket News

Shubman Gill will lead a young Indian team in a five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe, starting with the opener on Saturday, July 6. With India captain Rohit Sharma announcing his T20I retirement after the World Cup final, and vice-captain Hardik Pandya rested for the tour, the selectors have showed faith in Gill to lead a second-string side. Following Rohit’s retirement, there has been debate regarding India’s next T20I captain. Many believe that Hardik, having led the team previously in Rohit’s absence, is likely to take over the role.

Sharing his views on the same, former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim suggested that it is too early for the selectors to consider Gill for the role, adding that it is highly likely that Hardik will take over the reins.

“Potential yes but at this stage I think it’s very early for the selectors to actually decide who can be the captain in the years to come. There are a number of aspirants, Hardik Pandya right now is the vice-captain and I think with Rohit’s departure, it is more obvious that Pandya will take up the reins,” Karim told Sports Now.

“But yes, I think the Indian selectors have always looked at Shubman Gill as an all-format player and they feel he does have the required leadership skills to take the team forward, that is why this Zimbabwe series will be quite exciting for Gill not as a batter but also as a captain,” he added.

On the eve of the first T20I against Zimbabwe, Gill confirmed that Abhishek Sharma will make his debut in the series opener, revealing that the southpaw will open the innings with him, while Ruturaj Gaikwad will bat at no. 3.

“Abhishek Sharma will open with me, and Ruturaj Gaikwad will play at number three,” Gill said in the pre-match press conference.

The series against Zimbabwe will mark Gill’s debut stint as the Indian captain. Gill believes that he learned a lot of lessons in his debut captaincy stint in the cash-rich league.

“A lot of lessons. When I captain for the first time for my IPL team, I got to know a lot more things about myself and a lot more things about the leadership perspective. And I felt most of the challenges that you face as a captain are more mental,” he added.

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