Former New Zealand all-rounder and commentator, Scott Styris, said that he wouldn't be surprised if India's Hardik Pandya is given the T20I team’s captaincy in the future, saying his leadership persona and positive energy can take Indian cricket forward.
Earlier, there were a lot of reports of Pandya being named India’s vice-captain for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, but KL Rahul retained his position for the multi-national event in the UAE. However, the star all-rounder also openly said that he is open to captaincy as it is a very special feeling.
Notably, Pandya led Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title in their debut season without any captaincy experience and then led India in a 2-0 win against Ireland in a T20I series in June 2022.
Scott Styris said in News 18's show 'Sports Over the Top': “I wouldn't be surprised maybe not for this tournament, but in the future that we do see Hardik Pandya leading this T20 team. He has already led India three teams - twice against Ireland and once against the West Indies - and has won all of them.”
Speaking about Pandya’s rise as leader in the past few months, the former cricketer said: “I think it's an intriguing discussion because again, six months ago, I don't think it's something we all thought would even be talked about, but Hardik Pandya has made every poster winner.”
Styris further explained, “And you know, you see it a lot in football, where players of character and personality are often given the armband to be captain to also allow them to show some responsibility. So, I don't mind this for Hardik Pandya to be given some leadership in this side, whether now be the vice-captain or in the future as a captain because quite rightly what is the direction this Indian team wants to go, whether it's T20 in terms of its brand, how do they want to play the game?”
He signed off by saying, “Because Hardik Pandya certainly has the personality of today's player, where they want to go out and expand and show their skills and really just show off to everybody with how good they are. And I think that sort of leadership actually breeds itself and lends itself throughout the team to everybody playing with that style.”