Exclusive: Hardik Pandya Frontrunner for ODI Captaincy After Rohit Sharma

Last Update: Jan 19, 2023, 3:18 pm IST

Hardik Pandya celebrates India's win over New Zealand (Hardik Pandya Twitter)

Hardik Pandya celebrates India’s win over New Zealand (Hardik Pandya Twitter)

Hardik Pandya leads the ODI captaincy race after Rohit Sharma, who has led India to 6 wins in 8 T20 matches as captain.

Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian cricket team in the upcoming 50 overs World Cup later this year but should he reconsider his position after the tournament, the BCCI is looking at Hardik Pandya to replace Rohit as the ODI captain.

No official word on it yet but Hardik is likely to lead India The ODI responsibility may well come in the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2024 and after the 2023 World Cup.

“Right now, Rohit is the man to lead India in the World Cup this year, but we should plan about what to do next. Can’t just wait for things to happen and then react. If Rohit decides to quit the ODI format or captaincy after the 2023 World Cup, we need to have a plan.

Hardik’s growing captaincy reserves have made him the overwhelming favorite to take over the captaincy from Rohit in the ODI format. The all-rounder rose to captaincy fame with his exploits with Gujarat Titans in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League and has been very impressive in his stint as T20I captain in the recent bilateral series.

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Hardik is doing well as captain. He is young and will only get better. For now, there is no better option than him to look after Rohit. He should be supported and given a long and consistent rope,” says the officer.

In the eight T20 matches he has led India in, the Men in Blue have lost just once and the 29-year-old skipper has impressed the people who matter across the board.

India recently won the T20I series against Sri Lanka 2-1 under his captaincy and will now take on New Zealand in both ODIs and T20Is. Hardik will continue to lead the team in the shortest format while Rohit will lead in ODIs for the home assignments.

seamless transition

At least in white-ball formats, the board is keen to have a smooth transition plan in place where a successor is ready before taking over the responsibilities. While there will be around 50-over preparations this year, the focus shifts to the shortest format for the T20 World Cup.

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With so much 50-over cricket, there are chances of not regularly featuring in bilateral T20s across all formats and certainly now playing T20s during the IPL.

This gives Hardik an opportunity to build the core of the T20 team with youngsters and identify players for next year’s World Cup.

We have already seen someone like Shivam Mavi enter the scene and Prithvi Shaw has also returned to the T20I setup for the home T20I series vs New Zealand.

The bowling pool format is only getting better and bigger and the team takes on a new look under Pandya’s leadership.

packed calendar

The calendar for 2023 is packed with the ongoing home series vs New Zealand, the Border Gavaskar Trophy series vs Australia, the Indian Premier League 2023 edition, the Asia Cup in September and then the ODI World Cup later this year.

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Hardik would also like to keep his workload under control as he is a key figure in the 50-over set-up and a future leader in both the formats.

Not in the Test scheme of things, but Pandya will play the IPL after the New Zealand series and also feature in the Asia Cup before the World Cup in October-November.

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