Ravichandran Ashwin lauded Hardik Pandya as the stand-in captain unleashed his latent MS Dhoni in response to a question regarding Sanju Samson.
Following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, India continued its leadership shift, and Hardik Pandya was once again named as the leader of the Indian T20I team for their trip abroad in New Zealand.
Hardik Pandya, the newest addition of India’s leadership group, was asked about Samson’s absence from the Asian heavyweights’ XI in the two opportunities that India had – the first match being called off due to rain. With gloveman Rishabh Pant re-instated as India’s No.1 pick, wicketkeeper-batter Samson was instructed to sit out the three-match T20I series against New Zealand.
Hardik Pandya’s response
“He knows it’s not personal. It’s got to do with the situation. I am a peoples’ person. So if anyone needs me, I will be there for them. Everyone knows that if they feel anything at all, my doors are always open for them to come and have a chat with me, because I understand how they are feeling,” Pandya told reporters.
Taking note of Pandya’s excellent answer, Team India player Ashwin made a special mention of him on his YouTube channel. “I’m not sure if he wanted to say something in Thala Dhoni’s style because we all know how close Hardik is to Thala Dhoni.” He handled a hard subject that is constantly circulating on social media admirably. So, congratulations to Hardik,” Ashwin said.
Pandya, dubbed the “perfect successor” to skipper Rohit Sharma in white-ball cricket, blasted an unbeaten 30 off 18 balls in the third and final T20I of the bilateral series at McLean Park. “Hardik Pandya duplicated what he did with the bat for Gujarat Titans.” He arrived with all weapons blazing. “That was the only reason the game was tied,” Ashwin explained.