New Delhi [India], August 10 (ANI): Former New Zealand Cricketer Scott Styris said that Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has the personality of 'today's cricketer' and he would not be surprised if he leads the Men in Blue in T20Is in future.
Hardik Pandya has had a great 2022 so far. Fans have seen the emergence of the leader in this all-rounder. As a captain, he led Gujarat Titans to an Indian Premier League triumph in their debut season.
"I think it is an intriguing discussion because again, six months ago, I do not think it is something we all thought would even be talked about, but Hardik Pandya has made every poster winner, as Saba 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 do not mind 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?" he said on SPORTS18's daily show 'Sports Over the Top'.
"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," he added.
Pandya led GT from the front, scoring 487 runs in 15 games at an average of 44.27 and four half-centuries. Pandya also took eight wickets throughout the tournament.
In Blue colours, Pandya had his first experience as the vice-captain during the home series against South Africa that took place in June. The series had ended in a 2-2 draw after the final T20I was washed out.
He was then named as the captain of the Indian team that went to Ireland to play two T20Is. India won that series 2-0. After this, Pandya was named as the vice-captain of India's T20I series against West Indies, which India won 4-1.
Saba Karim, former Indian selector backed Avesh Khan's inclusion in Asia Cup squad. "I feel once you have invested in youngsters like Avesh Khan, you possibly cannot leave them out to be barbecued and such youngsters have not done anything wrong. I can understand Mohammed Shami on current form is a strong bet more so with Jasprit Bumrah out due to injury but it just feels that the selectors want to have that kind of security and they want to persist with the youngsters whom they have shown so much of faith," he said.
Avesh Khan did not have a very good tour of West Indies. He took three wickets in four matches and was quite expensive with the ball in the second and third T20I.
Styris also talked about KL Rahul's selection and wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan's omission from Asia Cup and said that KL has been valuable to the team, management and selectors as he has the vice-captaincy as well.
"So that says that he was always a frontline player in this Indian side and I guess it is unlucky for Ishan Kishan, he has got that left-handed ability which I think they would have loved to have got into the squad if they possibly could have because it is a very right-handed dominant side until to get to someone like Rishabh Pant. So, I think he'll be disappointed and naturally, he is a terrific player. But KL Rahul, it is great for India that he is back because you know, he is a genuine match winner on the biggest stage too," he said.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Monday announced the 14-members squad for the upcoming Asia Cup.
The much-anticipated Asia Cup cricket tournament will take place from August 27 this year.
The 15th edition of the tournament will be played in the UAE between six teams (main event). Defending champions India are also the most successful team, having won the trophy seven times. While the last edition of the tournament was held in an ODI format, this edition will feature the T20 format.
The six teams are divided into two groups with India, Pakistan and a qualifying team in Group A; and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan forming Group B. Each team plays the other once in the group stage with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Super 4 round. The top 2 teams from Super 4 will qualify for the final.
India's squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan.
The star pacer of India Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were not available for selection owing to injuries. They are currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru.
Three players - Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar have been named as standbys. (ANI)