All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been having a dream run as he first led Gujarat Titans to an IPL title in their debut season and now, he has been chosen to lead Team India in the upcoming two-match T20I series against Ireland, beginning June 26. In IPL 2022, Hardik registered 487 runs and took eight wickets apart from showing his captaincy credentials, and his performances have been well recognised by the Indian selectors and team management. Before the fourth T20I against South Africa, Hardik was asked about his emotions on being named captain.
“Obviously, I kind of knew before the start of this series that I will be leading the side after this series. Kinda knew it, but it is always an honour to lead your country. Who would have thought seven months back? Life can change a lot if you put the right mind and you keep working hard,” Hardik told host broadcaster Star Sports.
When asked about his role with the ball and as a finisher, Hardik said: “It is obviously important, whenever my team requires, I will always be there to bowl a couple of overs. We play with six bowlers, it is important in T20 cricket that you have six bowling options.”
“I have always enjoyed that role (finisher). Where I bat and what I do, you need to really enjoy the situation, for me, I kind of enjoy the challenge that comes with it because it is not easy to swing from ball one or ball two. For me, it comes naturally. I enjoy the challenge,” he added.
Hardik had played in the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE and he was absent from Team India after that. He made his much-awaited return to the national side for the ongoing series against South Africa.
In the ongoing series, the right-handed batter has played a perfect finisher role with the bat and he showed what he is capable of in the first and fourth T20Is.
India squad for the Ireland series: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
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