The transition period in an international team is always “difficult to handle” but India Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes there is immense talent and Hardik Pandya is a potentially good leader to see the T20 cricket phase out smoothly.
India will play six limited overs matches against Sri Lanka in the new year with Pandya replacing Rohit Sharma as the captain of the T20 International team starting January 3.
There is no more KL Rahul in the team Virat Kohli Which is an indication that Indian cricket will go through a phase of change from this series.
“Transition is inevitable. You always have to be prepared for it. But to make it effective smoothly you need support players to come through the system,” Sangakkara told Star Sports, the official broadcaster of India’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. told PTI during an interaction organized by
Every side goes through tough transitions and we saw that in Australia. Seen in New Zealand quite a while ago, even in England. So you have all these sides going through the transition and difficulty is a common theme,” he cited the common phenomenon.
For the Lankan legend, it is important to give new faces a long rope.
“You have to trust the players you pick, trust them over a long period of time, give them exposure and grounding so they can settle into international cricket and understand what it’s all about.”
For Sri Lanka in particular, the transition has been really difficult since the retirements of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
“There are a lot of young players coming to India, so it’s about picking the best out of them and nurturing them,” Sangakkara said.
However, he spoke about Pandya watching his captaincy for Gujarat Titans while mentoring Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
He said, ‘There is no doubt that his captaincy is excellent and we all have seen it in the IPL. Now he has to meld with on-field captaincy at the national level. He has all the qualities to lead, although one doesn’t have to be a captain to be a captain.”
But there are certain aspects of captaincy that Pandya will need to take care of and Sangakkara handed over a checklist for the Baroda man.
He said, ‘Captaincy on the field can be a different thing now. You have to be quick to read moments, win moments and strategize and I think Hardik has all the qualities to be a good captain.
“The most difficult thing is to motivate, talk and manage your players in a group to play with an attitude and the rest will come with the experience of captaining in close matches,” he added.
As far as the new Indian T20 team is concerned, Sangakkara will follow Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sanju Samson.
“I love watching Ruturaj Gaikwad bat and he is a player who can bat correctly and still make a huge impact in T20 cricket and of course Sanju Samson because I see Sanju as one of the best in this Indian side I want to see long run.
“Because he is a very special player, he has got a good mix of pace, spin and utility players. It will be a tough challenge for Sri Lanka but they have the wherewithal to match him in T20s.
“You have captain Dasun Shanaka, Charit Aslanka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis. They have a top order that can allow Sri Lanka to post big scores.
“A power house middle and late order with Captain Shanaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Wanindu Hasaranga coming in. SL bat deep and we have the spin combo of Mahesh Thiksana and Hasaranga topped by the raw pace of Lahiru Kumara and Dilshan Madhusanka “
Pant needs to work on his keeping
Rishabh Pant is not a part of the limited overs game against Sri Lanka and Sangakkara believes that his wicketkeeping is more important than batting.
“I think Rishabh Pant, for one, can improve a lot in his wicketkeeping. A lot of people only focus on his batting, and it is the combination of the two that instills confidence.
“I know it’s tough and boring but he can become really good by focusing on the small moments and that in turn will help him in white-ball cricket, and then become the keeper he is expected to be.”
When it comes to batting, Sangakkara wants them to be judicious in their choice of whom to attack and when to attack.
“With his batting, I have no doubt he has all the shots, ability and talent, but it’s about understanding how you build an innings in T20 cricket, knowing which bowler to attack. And be a little smart.”
T20 is not just for youngsters
Is T20 with its demands fast becoming a sport where players pushing their mid-30s or late 30s are becoming less relevant? “I never thought it was about age. I just look at the skill and I think that is the game of most skilled players. Cricket It is a game for the highest skilled players and only the best among the highest skilled will survive.
“You’re performing. If you don’t, nothing works. This is a sport for the hyperskilled, who are creative and problem solvers in quick time,” he concluded.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)