“No harm in having new captain for T20I”: Ravi Shastri favours split captaincy
Ravi Shastri said there would be “no actual harm” for India to consider the option of having a new T20I captain to lessen the burden on Rohit Sharma, who now captains India in all three formats.
Following the World Cup in Australia, the selectors rested the senior players, leaving Hardik Pandya in charge of the Indian T20I team in New Zealand.
Pandya took up the position for the first time in Ireland earlier this year after leading Gujarat Titans to victory in their first foray in the tournament.
“For T20 cricket, there is no harm in having a new captain because the volume of cricket is such that for one player to play all three formats of the game is never going to be easy. If Rohit is already leading in Tests and ODIs, there is no harm in identifying a new T20I captain and if his name is Hardik Pandya, so be it,” Shastri said during a virtual press conference facilitated by Prime Video ahead of the first T20I in Wellington on Friday.
The 1983 World Cup winning player backed Umran Malik, who has been selected for both the T20I and ODI squads and believes he would add much-needed pace to the bowling attack in New Zealand.
During Shastri’s stint as coach, Malik was selected for India’s net bowling team in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Malik later made his T20I debut under Pandya in Ireland earlier this year.
“He is one of the fastest bowlers in India and you saw what happened in the World Cup where genuine pace rattled opposition, whether it was Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah or Anrich Nortje. So there is no substitute for genuine pace, even if you are defending small totals. So this is an opportunity for Umran. Hopefully, he will learn from this exposure,” Shastri said.
The first of a three-match T20I series on the Kiwi soil, which follows India’s heartbreaking semifinal exit from the T20 World Cup, will kick off on Friday.
The New Zealand series comprises three T20Is and as many ODIs. Once the tour ends with the third and final limited over international on November 30, the Kiwis will return to India for a white-ball series in January next year.
India squad for New Zealand T20Is: Hardik Pandya (C), Rishabh Pant (vc & wk), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), W Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umran Malik.
New Zealand squad for T20Is: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Blair Tickner.
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