Evеn though Hardik Pandya hasn’t pеrformеd wеll in thе ongoing IPL 2024, hе was sеlеctеd as Tеam India’s vicе captain for thе upcoming T20 World Cup in thе Wеst Indiеs and thе Unitеd Statеs. India will start thеir World Cup journеy against Irеland in Nеw York on Junе 5.

Aftеr BCCI announcеd India’s 15 playеr squad thеrе was criticism on social mеdia about Pandya bеing namеd vicе captain undеr captain Rohit Sharma. Formеr Indian all roundеr Irfan Pathan thinks that prеmiеr fast bowlеr Jasprit Bumrah would havе bееn a bеttеr pick for India’s vicе captaincy in thе big tournamеnt.

“Selection processes usually involve careful planning. However, there have been concerns about the clarity of planning, as seen in decisions like excluding Rinku Singh from the squad despite earlier plans for his inclusion,” said Irfan in an interview with Timesofindia.com.

“After the last T20 World Cup, there has been a shift in strategy from avoiding senior players to including them for their experience. Clarity in planning is crucial… Previously, Hardik Pandya was considered for captaincy, but now Rohit Sharma has taken over for T20 matches.

“After the T20 World Cup, there was a new plan; they (BCCI) aimed for a younger team with Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav as potential captains,” added Irfan, who was part of India’s only T20 World Cup triumph in 2007.

Irfan Pathan’s Thoughts on Bumrah’s Leadership Potential

“I understand the rationale behind having Hardik Pandya as vice-captain due to the importance of continuity in leadership,” Irfan continued. “Yet, I believe someone like Jasprit Bumrah wouldn’t have been a bad choice either.”

Pandya, who took over as Mumbai Indians captain ahead of the IPL 2024, has scored 197 runs and taken only six wickets in 10 games, with his team currently in ninth place. He also faced booing in the early IPL matches after succeeding Rohit Sharma, who led the franchise to five titles.

Yet, questions arise regarding Pandya’s consistency in performance and commitment to Indian cricket,” the former all-rounder remarked. “Regular participation in domestic cricket is essential for serving Indian cricket throughout the year. Injuries are inevitable, but proper planning involving consistent match play, including domestic cricket, is vital for a player’s return. However, there’s this one player who returns from injury without fulfilling the same requirements. That shouldn’t happen because it sends the wrong message to the rest of the team. When they see one player receiving special treatment, it disrupts the team environment.”

“Cricket isn’t like tennis; it’s a team sport where equality is vital,” Irfan emphasized. “Every player should be treated fairly and equally. Regardless of whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned player like Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli, cricket is a team sport first and foremost. I’ve witnessed things in the past, particularly during the T20 World Cup last year, that went against the principles of Indian cricket—instances where certain players were given undue advantage, which is unacceptable,” he added, speaking as a cricket expert and commentator on Star Sports Press Room.

“To succeed in tournaments like the World Cup, it’s imperative that every player is treated fairly and equally. So, now, coming back to your question about…” Irfan paused, ready to continue the discussion.

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