‘It will be very crucial’: Irfan Pathan issues big warning concerning Hardik Pandya 'being made long-term captain’

Jan 01, 2023 10:03 PM IST

Ever since leading Gujarat Titans to Indian Premier League title in their debut season, Hardik Pandya has been touted by experts as Rohit Sharma's ideal replacement in the shorter format.

After a 2-0 Test series win against Bangladesh, Team India are set for their next assignment. The Men In Blue will take on Sri Lanka in a three-match each limited over series, kicking-off with the T20Is, which will be played on January 3. In the absence of seniors Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be handling the captaincy duties.

India's Hardik Pandya(file photo)
India's Hardik Pandya(file photo)

Ever since leading Gujarat Titans to Indian Premier League title in their debut season, Pandya has been touted by experts as Rohit's ideal replacement in the shorter format. He also led India to 1-0 series win over hosts New Zealand in November 2022.

Irfan Pathan is one among the many to hail Pandya's leadership abilities, but the former India all-rounder was quick to point out a big issue concerning Pandya.

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"The captaincy Hardik has done, whether it was for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL or at the start for India, I felt the communication was extremely good. He was seen as very agile," Pathan noted during an interaction on Star Sports.

"When there was talk about his captaincy, I was extremely impressed with his approach but along with that India will have to keep in mind that if you are making him the long-term captain, they will have to concentrate a lot on his fitness, whether you talk about him or the team management. It will be very crucial going ahead," he added.

Pandya made a splendid return to cricket, having spent a significant amount of time on the sidelines due to a back injury. Following the return, the back continued to trouble Pandya, who was barely used with the ball despite being an all-rounder.

But the good news is everything seems fine for the all-rounder now as he has been exceling in both the departments.

Interestingly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also appointed Pandya as the vice-captain for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. The ODI series will begin from January 10, shortly after the conclusion of T20Is.

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