Irfan Pathan raises concerns over appointment of Hardik Pandya as Indian vice-captain for the T20 World Cup 2024

May 2, 2024

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Hardik Pandya’s leadership during his tenure as captain of Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 has come under scrutiny due to the team’s disappointing performance, which has placed the team at the 9th position of the points table. Additionally, Pandya has struggled with his batting and bowling form. Despite these challenges, Pandya was appointed as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup 2024. This decision didn’t please Irfan Pathan, triggering him to express his dissent on the matter.

Irfan Pathan questions the decision of appointing Hardik Pandya as vice-captain

During a conversation with Star Sports, Irfan voiced his observations about appointing Pandya as the vice-captain of the Indian squad, emphasizing that even though BCCI opted for a new strategy to work with younger players and captain, it still raises questions about Pandya’s performance in the team. He also raised doubts regarding Pandya’s commitment to cricket.

“Following the T20 World Cup, there was a shift in strategy from avoiding senior players to including them for their experience. Clarity in planning is crucial, and teams usually adhere to a clear direction. Previously, Hardik Pandya held the captaincy, but Rohit Sharma took over for T20 matches. Post T20 World Cup, there was a new plan; they aimed for a younger team with Pandya and Surya as potential captains. Yet, questions arise regarding Pandya’s performance consistency and commitment to Indian cricket,” Irfan said on Star Sports.

Talking further about the issue, Irfan highlighted that while injuries are unavoidable, proper planning, which includes consistent match play, such as in domestic cricket, is crucial for a player’s return. He expressed concern over Pandya returning from injury without meeting the same requirements, stating that it sends the wrong message to the team. According to him, when other players witness one individual receiving special treatment, it can disrupt the team environment.

“Regular participation in domestic cricket is essential for serving Indian cricket throughout the year. Injuries are inevitable, but proper planning involving consistent match play, including domestic cricket, is vital for a player’s return. But then there’s this one player who returns from injury without fulfilling the same requirements. That shouldn’t happen because it sends the wrong message to the rest of the team. When they see one player receiving special treatment, it disrupts the team environment,” Irfan added.

Also READ: England’s Michael Vaughan predicts the semi-finalists of T20 World Cup 2024

Irfan names Jasprit Bumrah as a potential choice for vice-captain

The former Indian cricketer stressed the need for equal treatment of all players if BCCI wants to see the team succeed in tournaments like the T20 World Cup. Speaking about the current performance of cricketers, Pathan pointed out that Jasprit Bumrah’s recent form could have made him a suitable candidate for the vice-captain position in the Indian team.

“To succeed in tournaments like the World Cup, it’s imperative that every player is treated fairly and equally. So, now, coming back to your question about Hardik Pandya being vice-captain, I understand the rationale behind it due to the importance of continuity in leadership. However, considering the current performance, the selectors opting for continuity may be understandable. Yet, I believe someone like Bumrah wouldn’t have been a bad choice either,” the 39-year-old stated.

Also READ: IPL 2024- Parthiv Patel rebukes fan for sharing his wrong quote regarding MI on social media

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