IPL 2022 | Hardik Pandya is a strong contender to be the next India captain, opines Shoaib Akhtar
Hardik Pandya has scored 453 runs in the IPL 2022 so far|
Shoaib Akhtar has said that Hardik Pandya is knocking on the door of Indian captaincy courtesy of his leadership for Gujarat Titans in the ongoing season of IPL. However, Akhtar mentioned that Hardik should also focus on his fitness and bowling to stay in the Indian team for a long duration.
The final of the IPL 2022 is set to be played on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals. Hardik Pandya was released by Mumbai Indians ahead of the mega auction and he was roped in by GT. The franchise also handed him captaincy duties and he led the team to the final in maiden captaincy stint. Hardik has been praised by many former cricketers for his decision-making and individual contribution.
Shoaib Akhtar is the new name to join the bandwagon and has said that Hardik is a strong contender to replace Rohit Sharma as the next captain but should also concentrate on his fitness and bowling.
“It is the fact that Hardik Pandya is leaving a mark. He is knocking on the door of Indian captaincy. One is not sure how long Rohit Sharma will continue as captain," Akhtar said while speaking to Sportskeeda.
“It’s never easy to captain the Indian cricket team. Hardik has proved his point (as a leader) but he still needs to focus on his fitness and bowling. When he was fit as an all-rounder, he was an automatic choice in the Indian team. As a pure batter, though, there is no vacancy in the Indian team.”
Hardik has also enjoyed a memorable season with the bat as he has scored 453 runs at 45.30 and a strike rate of 132.84 so far.