Kumar Sangakkara backs Hardik Pandya to be the next India captain
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After guiding Gujarat Titans to lift the IPL trophy in their debut season, Hardik Pandya is in the scheme of things to become India’s next white-ball skipper. Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes that Pandya has the capability to become an excellent leader but also mentioned that it can be difficult as it’s a different ball game when it comes to international cricket.
Pandya was in charge of the Men in Blue during the T20I series against Ireland and New Zealand. He found success against both the oppositions and thus, is once again trusted to lead India against Sri Lanka in the upcoming T20I series. Interestingly, this will also be the Baroda-born cricketer’s first international captaincy stint in India.
Meanwhile, Sangakkara, who gradually saw Pandya develop as a leader in the IPL, mentioned that the 29-year-old has all the ingredients to be a good captain and also reminded him about the hardest part of being a captain.
“There is no doubt that his leadership is excellent and we all saw that in IPL. Now he has to melt that with on-field captaincy at the national level. He has all qualities to be a leader although you don’t necessarily need to be a captain to be a leader,” Sangakkara told news agency PTI.
“Now captaincy on the field can be a different thing. To read moments, win moments and strategize, you have to be sharp, and I think Hardik has all ingredients to be a good captain. The hardest part is to inspire, talk and manage his players in a group together to play with a vision and the rest will come with experience, captaining in close games,” the former cricketer added.
Kumar Sangakkara talks about India’s transition in T20I cricket
After a humiliating defeat at the hands of England in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2022, the Indian management took a bold call and decided to start afresh in the shortest format of the game. None of the senior cricketers was called up for the T20I series against Sri Lanka and their future in the format looks pale at the moment.
The 45-year-old Sangakkara believes that the transition was expected and also pointed out the importance of backing young players at this time.
“Every side goes through difficult transitions and we saw that in Australia. Saw that in New Zealand for a considerable period some time back, even in England. So you have all these sides go through transition and difficulty is a common theme,” Sangakkara said.
“India has a throng of young players coming through so it is just about selecting the best among them and giving them a longer run,” he added.