Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya could be the vice-captain for the Men in Blue for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 and T20 World Cup tournaments. Sources from BCCI revealed that Pandya could take over the position from KL Rahul, who was recently tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss out on five-match T20I series against West Indies, a series he was supposed to play in.
“The management is discussing over one name for vice-captaincy. It could be Hardik Pandya as he gave us good results in the past. He made Gujarat Titans the champions of IPL 2022 under his leadership. He showed great performances in the series against South Africa and England. We want to name an all-rounder for this post and in the current scenario, Hardik deserves this post,” sources told ANI.
Before this, Rahul had undergone surgery for a groin injury sustained just before the home T20I series against South Africa in June. After his surgery, he resumed his training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
After star batter Virat Kohli stepped down from T20I captaincy following the T20 World Cup in November last year and was replaced by Rohit Sharma as captain of the ODI team in the following month, KL Rahul was named as the vice-captain of India in both white-ball formats.
In December 2021, he was also named as vice-captain of India’s Test team after India’s then Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma had been ruled out of the series due to injury.
KL Rahul played his last white-ball game for India in February 2022 against West Indies at home, in which he scored 49 runs. It was an ODI game. Hardik Pandya has had a great 2022 so far. Fans have seen the emergence of the leader in this all-rounder. As a captain, he led Gujarat Titans to Indian Premier League triumph in their debut season. He led GT from the front, scoring 487 runs in 15 games at an average of 44.27 and four half-centuries. Pandya also took eight wickets throughout the tournament.
In Blue colours, Pandya had his first experience as the vice-captain during the home series against South Africa that took place in June. The series had ended in a 2-2 draw after the final T20I was washed out. He was then named as the captain of the Indian team that went to Ireland to play two T20Is. India won that series 2-0.
Pandya impressed with his performances on the tour of England. He was extremely handy with both bat and ball in the white-ball leg of the tour. Overall, he scored 163 runs in four innings at an average of 40.75. Pandya struck two brilliant half-centuries, with the best score of 71. He also took 11 wickets for India, with the best bowling figures of 4/24.
After this, Pandya was named as the vice-captain of India’s T20I series against West Indies. The series is ongoing and India is leading it 2-1.
The much-anticipated Asia Cup cricket tournament will take place from August 27 onwards this year. ICC T20 World Cup will take place from October-November this year.