'If He Wins the First ODI, Then You Can Stamp Him As India Captain After 2023 ODI World Cup'-Sunil Gavaskar On Hardik Pandya

Saikat Ghosh

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Speaking to Star Sports, he said that Pandya has shown good captaincy skills and a win in the series opener might stamp his authority as the full time white ball skipper.

Hardik Pandya, IND vs AUS, ODI Series, Rohit Sharma
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya plays a shot. (Source: RCB)

With the Border Gavaskar Trophy now done, the focus now shifts on the ODIs as India take on Australia in the three match series. The first ODI match is going to be played in Mumbai and former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has said that India all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be the man to watch out for.

Speaking to Star Sports, he said that Pandya has shown good captaincy skills and a win in the series opener might stamp Pandya’s authority as the full time white ball skipper. Someone who would take over from Rohit Sharma.

Meanwhile, Rohit will miss out on series opener due to personal commitments. This means Pandya will lead the side in his absence at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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“What you see with Hardik Pandya as a captain is a sense of comfort with the rest of the team. Maybe, it's the way he handles the players, puts his arm around the players… He just seems to give the players a sense of comfort. That’s so important to give a player a sense of comfort so that he can go and play his natural game. I think he encourages them, which is a wonderful sign,” he told Star Sports.
“Of course, the fact that he can be an impact player as well as a game changer in the middle order. Even for the Gujarat team, he was promoting himself up the order knowing that this is the time when the team needed some momentum and push, and he would do that."

"So, someone who is prepared to take on responsibility, lead from the front, and who will not ask the players to do something that he wants to do himself, is highly crucial. So, when the players know that he's just not putting us over there because he doesn't want to be there, that he's gone through the fire and he wants us to go through the fire," he added.

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"So, that’s the key as far as Hardik Pandya is concerned. He has been an impressive captain. I have been very impressed with his captaincy at the T20 level for the Gujarat Titans and for India when he is captaining the T20 side. I do believe that if he wins the first game in Mumbai, then you can almost stamp him as the India captain once the World Cup is over in 2023.”

India will play three ODIs against Australia. The first match will be played in Mumbai on March 17. This will be followed by two more games in Vizag and Chennai.

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