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Hardik Pandya’s appointment as captain v NZ is a win-win for Team India and its eternal trier

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In a sport where unpredictability is part of the game, could there’ve been anything more unpredictable than Hardik Pandya being the white ball captain of Team India?

And that too, in an overseas assignment?

Not that Pandya’s credentials do not warrant a leadership role; as a matter of fact, he’s one of the few all rounders in international cricket whose performances away from home are better than those amid home comfort.

Bold claim? Wild hunch?

India’s white ball captain has stuck – not amassed – 674 of his 1,117 T20I runs- whilst playing overseas. Thats at an average of 27 and at a strike rate north of 147.

Whilst playing in home conditions, the well-known cricketer from Gujarat has scored 443 runs from 25 innings.

But away from the musings of the bat, of which there’s little doubt, Hardik Pandya the bowler has done a very fine job with the ball as well.

So how’s that?

44 of his 62 T20I wickets have come away from India and from 45 outings. Meanwhile, he’s taken only 18 wickets at home from 34 contests.

Not that a lack of wickets whilst playing in India makes a talent any less impressive than what one is; it’s that performances overseas such as Hardik Pandya’s hugely underrated 4 for 33 at Southampton (1st T20I, July 2022) truly cement one’s place as a proven performer.

Moreover, when you lead by an example, which is what Pandya would like to do, given he’s well and truly come of age; always passionate; always ready to contribute to the country; will come handy for India.

Take nothing away from the fact that just a few months back in time, Hardik Pandya being on the stretcher didn’t cut a great picture for Team India and would certainly have hurt his career plans.

Yet, here he is, now as the man-in-charge of a very team to which he wasn’t even a part of given the horrendous back issue.

From being towed away akin to an inanimate object in 2018 during India’s ODI clash versus Pakistan to hitting an inspiring, perhaps even career defining 63 off 33 in the T20 World Cup when India most needed it, Pandya’s life has outstretched that of his critics.

If anything, he’s not only going to come strong as one hopes with his bowling, he’ll be ready to take on the New Zealand challenge knowing well the quintessential albeit unsaid rule of the game; that the captain must lead by an example.

Should he do that and he must for the team has always stood by this Titan of Gujarat, it’ll perhaps inspire a next generation of talents such as Gill, Hooda, Sundar and Samson, to quote a few.

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya must also be wary of not taking New Zealand any lightly, who perhaps are no longer the Darkhorses having shown the mirror to some of the so called powerful forces of world cricket.

This does, as a matter or fact, include India in the World Test championship finals at Lord’s.

But again, that was Tests, as many would argue and we are talking white ball cricket- aren’t we?

To that end, it only helps to know that New Zealand have had their noses out in front of India in multiple mega ICC events.

Their thumping victories in the 2021 edition (T20I World Cup) and the 2019 ODI World Cup are polite evidences of just how far New Zealand have come perhaps much to the chagrin of those who rather foolishly remained contented in calling Kane Williamson’s men the “underdogs!”

At a time where life gives clear instances of waking up and smelling the coffee, for it never really hurts to know where one lacks (only so one can improve, maybe it won’t hurt to see India smash New Zealand under newly-appointed makeshift captain Hardik Pandya’s leadership.

Who knows, maybe a series win will cover some lost ground for what India failed to achieve recently?

Cricket is a game played by 22 but opined by millions.Caught At Point will try to inform you and humour you on the game’s newsmakers, trends and, emerging patterns. Expect those deserving praise to be celebrated and expect tons of ‘arsehattery’ gifted to those who’ve earned it.I’ll cricket sincerely,Dev Tyagi

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1 Response

  1. November 18, 2022

    […] India and New Zealand T20 Series will be played from November 18, Friday. In total, 3 T20I and 3 ODI will be played between India and New Zealand. India tour of New Zealand is the key series for Hardik Pandya as a Captain. […]