Hardik Pandya ‘likely’ to replace Rohit Sharma as India’s T20I skipper

Hardik Pandya ‘likely’ to replace Rohit Sharma as India’s T20I skipper

India’s Hardik Pandya celebrates after winning the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2024 final match between against South Africa at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 29, 2024. — AFP

India’s fast bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to replace Rohit Sharma as India’s T20I skipper after the latter announced his retirement from the shortest format of the game after winning the T20 World Cup 2024.

Indian media reported that Pandya will be rewarded for his exceptional performance in the mega-event whereas ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah will be named the team’s vice-captain.

Pandya, was crucial to India’s T20 World Cup glory as the all-rounder bowled the last over against the Proteas in the final and defended the target. During the match, he also removed Heinrich Klaasen who almost took the game away from the Men in Blue.

For the captaincy, the names of Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav were also discussed but Pandya emerged as the favourite and is likely to lead the team in the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka.

The goal is to give Pandya enough time and matches to make sure he is ready for the 2026 T20 World Cup which will be played in India and Sri Lanka.

India are currently playing a five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe where Shubman Gill is leading the team. The series is tied 1-1 after the Blues made an impressive comeback in the second T20I and registered a 100-run win.

Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Secretary, Jay Shah, confirmed that Rohit will lead the Indian cricket team in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 and Champions Trophy 2025.

Sharma recently ended India’s 11-year-long ICC trophy drought and guided them to a T20 World Cup win when the Blues defeated South Africa in a thrilling final in Bridgetown.

Sharma was appointed India’s captain in 2021 after Virat Kohli stepped down and since then, the Blues made it to the WTC 2021-23 final and the ODI World Cup 2023 final where they lost to Australia on both occasions.

“I am confident that under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, we will win the WTC Final and the Champions Trophy,” Shah said in a video shared by the BCCI.

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