On August 7 (Sunday), in Florida, India crushed West Indies in the last T20I to win the series 4-1 against the hosts. In the series decider, Rohit Sharma was rested, and Hardik Pandya filled in as captain. He is open to taking on a full-time leadership position in the future.
Due to player workload management and injuries, the Indian team has used seven captains in all formats. Hardik Pandya has an impeccable record as an Indian captain, winning three out of three games while leading Gujarat Titans to victory in their first season of the IPL.
The flamboyant all-rounder said that he would be more than happy to assume the captaincy of India on a full-time basis, but for the time being, his attention is on the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup in Australia. He underlined that the team members are working to improve by both learning and having fun.
Hardik Pandya told Cricinfo in an interview, “Yeah! why not? If I get an opportunity in the future, I’ll be more than happy to do that, but right now we have the World Cup, and we have the Asia Cup [coming up]. We’re going to focus on that and make sure as a team what we’re doing, we continue [with that] and make sure that with all the skill sets, which we are learning we can keep getting better at it, and at the same point of time enjoy the game as well.”
The match on Sunday was the first time that spinners claimed all ten wickets in a men’s T20I. In the absence of Kyle Mayers, who was resting, West Indies grouped their top right-hand batters together. Hardik then threw the new ball to Axar Patel, who was selected ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. Patel then responded by taking the wickets of the improvised top three of West Indies during the powerplay. The last seven wickets were then split between wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi as the hosts were dismissed for 100 while chasing 189.
The Asia Cup will be India’s next T20I assignment and will begin on August 27 in the UAE. According to Hardik, the India team for that competition may essentially be the same as the one for the Australia T20 World Cup in 2022.