Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris believes one shouldn't be surprised if India all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be captaining the T20 side in future. In the last couple of months, Pandya's graph as a leader has been on the rise.
It all started with him leading Gujarat Titans to IPL 2022 trophy in their maiden season of the tournament. Pandya was then made the deputy to Rishabh Pant during the drawn 2-2 T20I series against South Africa at home in June.
In the absence of many regulars, Pandya captained India to 2-0 T20I series victory over Ireland in June and led India to a massive 88-run victory over the West Indies in the fifth T20I at Florida, USA to seal a 4-1 series triumph.
"I think it's an intriguing discussion because again, six months ago, I don't think it's something we all thought would even be talked about, but Hardik Pandya has made every poster winner, as Saba (Karim) says.
And you know, you see it a lot in football, where players of character and personality are often given the armband to be captain to also allow them to show some responsibility.""So, I don't mind this for Hardik Pandya to be given some leadership in this side, whether it now be the vice-captain or in the future as a captain because quite rightly what is the direction this Indian team wants to go, whether it's T20 in terms of its brand, how do they want to play the game?
"Because Hardik Pandya certainly has the personality of today's player, where they want to go out and expand and show their skills and really just show off to everybody with how good they are. And I think that sort of leadership actually breeds itself and lends itself throughout the team to everybody playing with that style.
So, I wouldn't be surprised maybe not for this tournament, but in the future that we do see Hardik Pandya leading this T20 team," said Styris on 'Sports Over The Top' show on Sports18.Earlier, after the fifth T20I against the West Indies ended on Sunday, Pandya had stated that he is open to a full-time leadership role in the Indian set-up.
"Yeah! why not? If I get an opportunity in the future, I'll be more than happy to do that, but right now we have the World Cup, and we have the Asia Cup (starting from August 27).""We're going to focus on that and make sure as a team what we're doing, we continue (with that) and make sure that all the skillsets, which we are learning we can keep getting better at it, and at the same point of time enjoy the game as well.
Very special to get a chance to lead your country. And getting that chance and getting that victory means a lot to me as captain and an individual."