Don’t know who is seeing Hardik Pandya as captain: Ex-Pakistan skipper urges India to not sack Rohit Sharma

Hardik Pandya has emerged as the favourite to replace Rohit Sharma as the captain of the Indian cricket team in T20Is after the Men in Blue’s disappointing show in the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2022. India crashed out of the tournament after suffering a humiliating ten-wicket defeat in the semi-final against England.

Rohit Sharma & Co. once again failed to cross the final hurdle in a major ICC tournament, extending their trophy drought. Ever since the team’s exit, questions have been raised on the future of some of the senior players with Rohit’s captaincy also coming under the scanner.

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already sacked the entire selection panel led by former India cricketer Chetan Sharma, Rohit is also reportedly set to face the axe in T20Is. As per reports, BCCI is keen on appointing Hardik Pandya as the captain of India’s T20I team keeping the future in mind.

While many have backed Pandya to lead the Indian team in the shortest format, former Pakistan team captain Salman Butt is far from convinced of his leadership qualities. While he rates Pandya highly, Butt believes Rohit wouldn’t have been questioned had he scored some runs with the bat in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I don’t know who is seeing him as captain and who is watching such dreams. He has talent and has tasted success in the IPL. But even Rohit Sharma has been successful five to six times in the IPL. If he had scored well in a couple of matches (in the T20 World Cup 2022), people wouldn’t have been talking about making this change at the top,” Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel.

“In the Asian subcontinent, people start talking about such drastic and big changes rather soon. Not all of them, but quite a few, who probably don’t understand how these things work. Sometimes, just for the sake of giving an opinion, people say, ‘change the captain’,” he added.

Pandya has been in sublime form for India ever since he made his comeback after a long layoff due to his recovery earier this year. He led his team Gujarat Titans to their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season before making a strong return for India.

He has since performed exceptionally well for the team with both the bat and the ball and is set to lead India for the second time this year in T20Is in the absence of the senior players during their ongoing tour of New Zealand. However, Butt believes sacking Rohit on the basis of just one tournament will not be the right decision.

“Only one captain has won the World Cup, the rest of the teams have lost. Will you change the captains of all 11 teams because they lost the World Cup,” said the former Pakistan captain.