India’s stand-in head coach VVS Laxman showered praise on star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who will lead the T20I team on the New Zealand tour, stating the Gujarat cricketer is a ‘players’ captain’.
The Baroda cricketer emerges as the clear front-runner to replace Rohit Sharma as T20I captain of India after their semifinal exit in T20 World Cup 2022.
The Gujarat Titans captain impressed one and all with his man-management skills in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, where he guided Gujarat Titans (GT) to a maiden IPL title win on the very first attempt.
“He is a fabulous leader. We have seen what he has done in the IPL. I have spent time with him from Ireland. His presence and work ethic are exemplary. He is a player’s captain and is approachable. Players confide in him. He leads by example,” VVS Laxman said in a press-conference ahead of the series opener in Wellington.
The grounds in New Zealand are comparatively smaller and the conditions are pretty challenging there for bowlers and fielders. Weighing in on the same, Laxman said:
“It is not about the smaller grounds, but the dimensions of the ground. In Wellington and Auckland, there are no normal cricket grounds. The best part of international cricket is that you have to adapt to conditions and situations.”
“I am sure the team will do that. Based on the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents, you need to create a strategy and execute it perfectly,” he concluded.
The Hardik Pandya-led team India will take on New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series on Friday, November 18 at Wellington.