Even though Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has no plans of retiring from T20Is, all-rounder Hardik Pandya seems to be the best candidate to replace him as the next T20I captain ever since the ICC World Cup 2022. In the absence of all-format captain Rohit, the white-ball maverick will again resume the T20I captaincy as India is set to host New Zealand for a three-match series.
Under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya, Team India will be hosting the Black Caps in the series opener on Friday at Ranchi. Breaking the internet ahead of the series opener, Pandya teamed up with Ranchi’s very own MS Dhoni for a blockbuster post on social media. As Pandya’s recent post starring Thala Dhoni became an instant hit, the stand-in skipper was asked about his brief reunion with the legendary Indian players in a press conference.
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Pandya-led Team India had a special interaction with MS Dhoni ahead of the opening game of the T20I series in Ranchi. According to Team India’s stand-in skipper, he has already taken all the tips from the Ranchi stalwart during his playing days with the former Indian cricketer.
Look who came visiting at training today in Ranchi – the great @msdhoni! 😊#TeamIndia | #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/antqqYisOh
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 26, 2023
During the pre-match press conference in Ranchi, Hardik Pandya said, “Mahi bhai is here which is good as we get to meet him. We can get out of the hotel also (to meet him). Otherwise, the way we have played in the last month has just been hotel to hotel. And when we meet, we try to talk about life rather than the game. When we played together I learned a lot from him. I have squeezed a lot out of him (knowledge), there is not much left.”
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Pandya was the vice-captain of the Indian side that recently whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 in the three-match ODI series. The newly promoted vice-captain has been tasked to produce a similar result in the upcoming T20I series. This will be the third straight T20I series for Pandya where he is assigned to lead the Men in Blue. Pandya’s young Indian team will meet New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series at the JSCA International Stadium Complex on Friday.