The former India selector Saba Karim said that Hardik Pandya has been given a big responsibility to lead Team India’s T20 side against Sri Lanka in the absence of senior players – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul. However, he also added that picking up youngsters is the best decision to build a new team for the shortest format. Notably, all the veterans have been included in the ODI squad.
Speaking on India News, Karim said: “It’s a big step by India Selection Committee. They have realized there is no T20 World Cup this year but in 2024. A big responsibility for Hardik Pandya. He will lead the team. A lot of youngsters are there – Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda. Selectors are looking at the 2023 ODI World Cup, so the T20 team has been given time to build.”
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya has also been named Rohit Sharma’s new deputy in the ODI squad as well following a lean patch with the bat from KL Rahul as well. This came after the experienced all-rounder guided India to a 1-0 win in the recently concluded T20I series in New Zealand as well.
Saba Karim also credited Suryakumar Yadav for his new role as vice-captain of Team India in T20Is for the Sri Lanka series as well. He finished as the highest run-scorer in T20Is last year. He scored 1164 runs in 31 matches at a strike rate of 187.44, including two centuries and nine fifties as well.
“It’s good news that Suryakumar Yadav has been made vice-captain. He is a torchbearer in T20 cricket. He deserves it. You have to promote players who play aggressive cricket. I think Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav’s camaraderie will work well,” Saba Karim concluded.