Newly appointed vice-captain Hardik Pandya is reportedly BCCI’s favourite to take over India’s white-ball captaincy (ODI and T20) if senior opener Rohit Sharma decides to retire from ODIs or give up captaincy in this format after 2023 ODI World Cup. Many considered KL Rahul as one of the favourites to replace Rohit as India’s ODI captain in future but his recent sacking as vice-captain in the format isn’t a positive sign for him.
Rohit Sharma for sure will lead the national team in this year’s ODI World Cup and if the Blues deliver a below-par performance in the tournament or Rohit decides to quit ODI captaincy or the format altogether, then all-rounder Hardik Pandya is reportedly BCCI’s ready-to-go replacement.
Speaking exclusively to Cricketnext, a senior BCCI official said: “Right now, Rohit is the man to lead India in the World Cup this year but we must plan about what next. Just can’t wait for things to happen and then react. Just in case Rohit decides to let go of the ODI format or captaincy post the 2023 World Cup, we need to have a plan in place.”
“Hardik is doing well as captain. He is young and will only get better. For now, there is no better option than him to be looked at post Rohit. He must be backed and given a long and consistent rope.”
Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans to a title win in the first-ever IPL season. His success saw BCCI naming him India’s T20 captain ahead of India’s tour of Ireland.After India’s dismal outing in T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, BCCI isn’t considering senior players Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and others for the T20 team as they plan to build a younger team leading to 2024 T20 World Cup. Hardik Pandya for now is only a standby skipper in the shortest format but things might take a different turn after 2023 ODI World Cup, with him most likely becoming the new permanent captain in white-ball formats.