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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Hardik Pandiya vows fresh start for Mission 2024

The all-rounder is widely tipped to take over as the new T20 captain ahead of the next T20 World Cup in West Indies/USA in June 2024

Our Bureau Kolkata Published 17.11.22, 05:18 AM
An image posted on Twitter of captains Hardik Pandya and (left) Kane Williamson at the India-New Zealand series trophy unveiling on Wednesday

India’s humiliation at the hands of England in the T20 World Cup semi-final still rankles but stand-in captain Hardik Pandya believes the team needs to maintain a positive outlook.

The all-rounder is widely tipped to take over as the new T20 captain ahead of the next T20 World Cup in West Indies/USA in June 2024. India begin their preparations with a new-look side in the three-match T20I series in New Zealand from Friday.

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A major overhaul is expected in the next two years. There is also talk that former World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be asked to join the setup in some capacity after IPL 2023.

“Yes, we all know there is the disappointment of the World Cup but we are professionals and we need to cope with it. We need to cope with our success and our failures, move forward and look forward to getting better and rectifying our mistakes,” Pandya said at a media conference in Wellington.

“Yes, the next T20 World Cup is almost two years away, so we have time... A lot of cricket will be played and a lot of people will get enough chances.

“The roadmap starts from now. But it’s too fresh right now. We have a lot of time so we will sit down and have conversations on those grounds,” Pandya said. “Right now it’s making sure that the boys enjoy playing here. We will talk about the future later.”

The likes of Shubman Gill, Umran Malik, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson have been included in the squad as the seniors have been handed a break. Pandya says it will be an important series for the youngsters and he is excited for them.

“The main boys are not here but at the same time there’s enormous talent in the guys who are already here... they have also been playing for one-and-a-half, two years now,” he said.

“They have had ample chances and enough time in international cricket to express themselves and show what they have... Very excited for them, new bunch of guys, new energy and excitement.

“Every series is important. You can’t play an international game thinking it’s not important. Yes, the World Cup is there but that’s a different format, it’s 50 overs (next year in India).

“But it is an important series for a lot of boys... if they eventually do well here (they) will be able to put a strong case going forward.”

Pandya also said that India don’t need to prove anything to anyone following the criticism after their semi-final exit.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan recently said that India had achieved absolutely nothing since winning the ODI World Cup in 2011 and has been the most under-performing white-ball team.

“I don’t think we need to prove anything to anyone... Obviously, when you don’t do well, people will have their opinion, which we respect. I understand people have different views,” Pandya said.

“It’s a sport, you keep trying to get better and eventually when the result is supposed to happen it will happen. There are things we need to work on, and going forward we will rectify and work on it.”

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