Hardik Pandya is likely to miss the T20I series against Australia, which is set to take place later this month, after the conclusion of the ODI World Cup 2023. The Indian T20 captain sustained an ankle injury during the game against Bangladehs earlier in the tournament. The reports earlier suggested him to be fit before the game against England. But those reports turned out to be untrue.
Later on, reports suggested him to be fit before the semifinal match, which turned out to be false as well. Hardik was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament for not being able to recover from his injury. This leaves a huge void in the Indian team, particularly in the T20I series against Australia. Hardik was the captain of the shortest format of India for a long time. In his absence, team would be looking at various other options.
Here are three players who might lead India in the T20I series against Australia, in Hardik's absence -
3. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav has been the best Indian T20 player since his debut in T20Is. The Indian number 4 has been the most consistent batter since 2022 and has performed well as a batter in almost every series he has played. In home series, in away series, in big tournaments like the Asai Cup and the T20 World Cup, Suryakumar was exceptional for India. The batting form of Yadav in the shortest format of the game is incredible.
While Yadav was not that good in ODIs, he was still at his best in the T20 format. In the IPL 2023, Suryakumar was one of the best batters of the tournament. The Mumbai batter has been experienced in T20 format and knows a thing or two about captaincy as well. Yadav is a calm customer in the field. If given a chance, Suryakumar might prove to be one of the better captains for India in the shortest format of the game.
2. Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer has led many teams in the past. The Mumbai born batter has the experience of leading his IPL sides like Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders in the past. Iyer is known as a tactical genius and is known for his intelligence. No wonder why Iyer turned out to be the best captain Delhi-based franchise ever got. Since the, Iyer has a name for himself in the shortest format of the game as a captain.
Iyer was not fit recently before the Asia Cup 2023. He just made in time to the Indian ODI squad before the big tournaments. The constant injuries forced him to quit IPL 2023, which led to Nitish Rana becoming the captain of KKR. Now that Iyer is fit and in good form with the bat, the Indian management might be looking to make him the captain, which would test him as a captain at the international level and train him for future, in case such situation arises.
1. KL Rahul
KL Rahul has been a mainstay in the Indian team over the years. around 2018, Rahul was regarded as the next big thing in the Indian cricket. Although there is a long way to achieve that, Rahul is still one of the biggest names in Indian cricket. Moreover, Rahul is an experienced campaigner now, who is versatile and can provide a lot of options, apart from being a pure batter in the team.
Rahul can keep the wickets and lead the sides as well. Since 2019, Rahul has been the captain of various sides. Rahul led Punjab Kings and Licknow Supergiants in the IPL level. Rahul has led India in the absence of some regular captains like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. In the absence of Hardik Pandya, Rahul might be the most probable option to lead the Indian team in the T20I series against Australia later this month.