Team India experienced a disappointing end to their 20-20 World Cup campaign on 10 November 2022. The eventual winners, England thrashed them in the semi-final by 10 wickets in Adelaide. Now, the Men in Blue have already reached New Zealand for a three-match T20I and ODI series.
On 18 November, India will play their first T20I of the series against the Kiwis in Wellington. Big-name players like Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma have taken a rest from this tour. Even, Rahul Dravid, the head coach has also taken a rest. So, Hardik Pandya will lead the team under the guidance of VVS Laxman. Now, a report has come that VVS Laxman will look to groom the replacements of Big-name players in T20Is in the upcoming days.
“He is a fabulous leader.” - VVS Laxman on Hardik Pandya
As per reports, the Indian Board have identified replacements for some players like Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Rohit Sharma. Washington Sundar (for Ashwin), Umran Malik (for Bhuvneshwar Kumar), Mohammed Siraj (for Mohammed Shami), Ishan Kishan (for Virat Kohli), and Shubman Gill (for Rohit Sharma) have been identified as replacements.
Now, VVS Laxman will look to groom them ahead of the next 20-20 World Cup in 2024. However, ahead of the T20I series in New Zealand, VVS Laxman heaped high praises for Hardik Pandya’s leadership qualities. He claimed that Pandya is a fabulous leader and he has shown that in the Indian T20 League.
“He is a fabulous leader. We have seen what he has done with Gujarat Titans in the Indian T20 League. Taking leadership in the first year of the franchise in the tournament, and winning the league is not a mean achievement. I have spent a lot of time with him since the Ireland series. He is just not only tactically sound, but he is very calm on the field and that is something that is very important at the highest level. He is very approachable & players captain” VVS Laxman concluded.