IND vs NZ | Wait couple of years before judging Hardik Pandya's captaincy, asserts Dinesh Karthik

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Dinesh Karthik has advised caution over judging Hardik Pandya's reign as captain all too quickly, stating the all-rounder should be given two years before a firm conclusion can be reached. He went on to laud Pandya's efforts so far as a leader before dismissing concerns over his on-field antics.

India crawled to a tense five-wicket victory in the second T20I against New Zealand in Lucknow on Sunday, levelling the series 1-1 ahead of Wednesday'sd decider in Ahmedabad. The triumph was Hardik Pandya's seventh as skipper of the Indian side, having already led them 10 times since June 2022, creating optimism amongst fans. However, veteran batter Dinesh Karthik was quick to point out the brief period of time for which the all-rounder has been captain, opining it was not comprehensive enough to form an accurate opinion.

The 29-year-old first led the team when incumbent all-format skipper Rohit Sharma was rested for a tour of Ireland. Pandya continued as the captain after the conclusion of the World T20 as well with the likes of Sharma and Virat Kohli kept out of the T20I squad albeit without any justifications. He had led Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League title as well in their inaugural season in 2022 which has led to him being touted as the long-term future captain of the side.  

"Honestly, I think he's done a very good job in the in the limited time that he's been a captain. I will always judge captaincy after a couple of years because the golden period is when you start, you're fresh on the block and there's a lot of things going for you. But so far, he's ticked every box that a captain needs to have leading team India and in a country where cricket is celebrated as a religion, he in many ways has surprised a lot of people who thought he wouldn't be able to do this. I'm very happy for him and I think he's done a very fair job, he's gotten off to a golden start and he seems to be carrying that momentum but time will tell how you actually judge him as a leader," Karthik said to Cricbuzz.

However, Pandya's on-field conduct came under criticism in the series against the Kiwis after the stump-mics recorded him using expletives on several occasions, some even alleging the mistreatment of players. Karthik was quick to dismiss all such reports of fractions as he used the example of Rohit to explain a dressing room environment.

As viewers, sometimes we read too much into it. What matters most is how they are off the field that will set the tone of what the players feel even when you react badly. Rohit is a great example, he's somebody who's very affable, a very fun loving guy that everybody likes but on the field, some of his expressions can be really harsh. It might make you wonder, 'wow did I make a massive mistake,' but when you know him then you realize that he means no harm at that point," Karthik concluded on the matter.

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