Hardik Pandya, who a few years ago was getting heavily trolled for not being up to the mark set by himself, is not the knight in shining armor for team India. Now with a new team under his belt, Pandya will be leading the Men in Blue against the Asian Champs Sri Lanka in the upcoming T20 series.
This isn't his first rodeo though as Pandya captained the side against Ireland in June this year. He set a record of becoming the first Indian T20 skipper to take a wicket, although he is the only the second all-rounder to have led the team after Suresh Raina but still, a record it was. He also led the side against New Zealand in November where the Men in Blue won by 1-0. His rise from the IPL where he leads Gujarat Titans to victory in the franchise's first season.
The question which now ponders is- IS HARDIK READY? ready to take over Rohit Sharma as the full-time Indian T20 Captain. The situation somewhat resembles India's T20 side in the 2007 World Cup. No, no, not the one we lost badly but the one we won under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. A young Indian side with only a couple of seniors and almost no hope. We will sure hope so and with it comes another question, is it time the BCCI decides to keep the T20, ODI, and Test teams separate with a few common players?
Let's look at the side which will face Sri Lanka in the 3-match series. The Indian Squad: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar. Whew, lots of new and young talent over here.
Only time will tell how the young Indian side will face the mighty Asian champs but with the likes of Ishan, Ruturaj, Gill, SKY, and Tripathi with the bat, the Lankan bowlers will have to put in the effort to stop the Indian team's scoring. Then comes to the bowlers and the maximum eyes will be on Umran and Arshdeep. With Hardik leading from the front, this team is surely looking stunning on paper. Let's hope it shows on the field as well.