Hardik Pandya likely to lead India in T20I series against Sri Lanka; KL Rahul to captain in ODIs: Sources | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: After Rohit Sharma stepped down from T20I cricket following a victorious ICC T20 World Cup campaign, it is expected that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will take over as captain of the Indian team in the shortest format. Concurrently, sources indicate that wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul is set to assume leadership responsibilities in ODI matches.
The decision comes as the Indian team looks to transition to a new era of leadership, with Rohit’s tenure as captain coming to an end. The move is expected to provide opportunities for the next generation of players to step up and take on greater roles within the team.”Hardik Pandya is all set to lead the Indian team in the T20, Rohit Sharma announced his retirement. Hardik is also unlikely to be rested for the upcoming series vs Sri Lanka,” BCCI Sources told ANI.
Pandya showcased his all-round prowess in the T20 World Cup, amassing 144 runs at an impressive average of 48.00 and a strike rate of 151.57 across six innings.
His best score of 50* highlighted his batting contributions. With the ball, Pandya claimed 11 wickets in eight matches, maintaining an excellent average of 17.36 and an economy rate of 7.64. His best bowling figures stood at 3/20.
Despite his remarkable performance, Pandya faced a challenging phase during the IPL 2024 season. After taking over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians (MI) from the legendary Rohit, Pandya found himself at the receiving end of boos from fans in stadiums across India.
The all-rounder, who was making a comeback from an ankle injury sustained in the previous year’s 50-over World Cup, became a target of online trolling and fan wars.
Accusations of betraying the MI franchise, Rohit, and his former team Gujarat Titans (GT), whom he led to the IPL title in 2022, were hurled at him.
In contrast, KL Rahul, despite his outstanding performance in the ODI World Cup 2023 held in India, was surprisingly left out of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup.
Rahul accumulated 386 runs in nine innings, boasting an impressive average of 77.20 and a strike rate of 98.72. Batting at number five, Rahul consistently held the Indian innings together throughout the tournament.
Rahul’s match-winning knock against Australia in India’s opening encounter, when the hosts were reeling at 2 for 3, was a standout performance. He forged a crucial 165-run partnership with Virat Kohli and remained unbeaten on 97, guiding India to a historic victory in Chennai.
“KL Rahul will lead the Indian team in the absence of Rohit Sharma as the board believes he makes runs in the longer format,” the sources added.
The BCCI made an announcement on Tuesday, revealing that Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer, has been selected as the new head coach for the Indian men’s team.
Gambhir, who played as a left-handed opener for India, recently served as the team mentor for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League. Under his mentorship, KKR secured their third IPL title this season.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah took to his social media account X and announced Gambhir’s appointment as Team India’s new head coach.
Shah expressed his complete trust in Gambhir’s abilities, stating that he believes Gambhir is the perfect individual to lead Indian Cricket forward.
“It is with immense pleasure that I welcome Mr @GautamGambhir as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Modern-day cricket has evolved rapidly, and Gautam has witnessed this changing landscape up close. Having endured the grind and excelled in various roles throughout his career, I am confident that Gautam is the ideal person to steer Indian Cricket forward. His clear vision for #TeamIndia, coupled with his vast experience, positions him perfectly to take on this exciting and most sought-after coaching role. The @BCCI fully supports him as he embarks on this new journey,” Shah wrote on X.

After a thrilling seven-run victory over South Africa in the final match of the T20 World Cup 2024, India clinched the coveted trophy, ending a 17-year drought. This momentous occasion also marked the conclusion of Rahul Dravid’s stint as the head coach of the Indian cricket team.

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