NZ VS IND: In the recently finished T20I series against New Zealand, which the tourists won 1-0 following a washout and rain-hit tie, many fans and analysts anticipated seeing the likes of Sanju Samson or Umran Malik getting a game in the absence of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Mohammed Shami. However, neither Samson nor Umran received the same from the Indian squad management. While Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav also warmed the bench. After the third game, which was abandoned due to rain and ended in a tie. India’s acting captain Hardik Pandya was questioned regarding the exclusion of Samson and Umran.

In response to the question, Hardik said it was challenging to provide a game for everyone in this brief series. He did, however, predict that those who were left out would soon have a chance to play.

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NZ VS IND: “This Is My Team”: Hardik Pandya

NZ VS IND: Hardik Pandya Responds To The Query Related To Sanju Samson
NZ VS IND: Hardik Pandya Responds To The Query Related To Sanju Samson

“First, who is saying what outside doesn’t affect us at this level. This is my team, and I’ll pick the best side after discussing it with the coach. There is ample time. Everyone will get their chances, and when they do, it will be a long run. This was a small series. If we had more matches, we could have tried out more players).” 

Said Hardik in the post-match presser

The Baroda-lad used Deepak Hooda as an example to support his argument, saying that team management chose Hooda because they needed a sixth bowling option, which was successful. Notably, the off-spinner had four wickets in the second T20I and performed admirably in Tuesday’s match that decided the series. With Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli, the top three players from the most recent men’s T20 World Cup, absent from New Zealand, Samson, in particular, and Gill would have anticipated one or two outings.

Samson has a T20I average of 44.75 over the past 12 months, with his runs arriving rapidly. Gill has never played T20I cricket. He averages 82.66 in ODIs during the same time frame.

NZ VS IND: Team India’s Recent Form

For example, I wanted a six-bowling option, and Deepak did that very well. If the batters start to chip in with the ball, then we will have options to surprise the opposition.” 

Said Hardik

India’s somewhat reserved approach at the top of the batting order drew criticism after their World Cup semi-final exit. Due to his success leading Gujarat Titans to the IPL title in their inaugural season in 2022, there has been some discussion about Hardik taking over the T20I captaincy.

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