‘You can almost stamp him as the India captain once the World Cup is over in 2023’: Sunil Gavaskar reckons Hardik Pandya can lead men in blue

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes Hardik Pandya can stake claim for a leadership role in one-day matches after the World Cup this year if India manages to win the 1st Ind vs Aus 1st ODI on Friday this week.

“I have been very impressed with his captaincy at the T20 level for the Gujarat Titans and for India when he is captaining the T20 side. I do believe that if he wins the first game in Mumbai, then you can almost stamp him as the India captain once the World Cup is over in 2023,” said Gavaskar while speaking on Star Sports.

“He can be an impact player as well as a game changer in the middle-order. Even for the Gujarat team, he was promoting himself up the order knowing that this is the time when the team needed some momentum and push, and he would do that,” he added.

Pandya has been appointed as the interim captain for the opening ODI at the Wankhede Stadium as regular skipper Rohit Sharma is likely to miss it owing to family commitments.

Speaking about what makes Pandya a favourite, the former skipper said, “What you see with Hardik Pandya as a captain is a sense of comfort with the rest of the team. Maybe, it’s the way he handles the players, puts his arm around the players… He just seems to give the players a sense of comfort.

“That’s so important… to give a player a sense of comfort so that he can go and play his natural game. I think he encourages them, which is a wonderful sign.”

“So, someone who is prepared to take on responsibility, lead from the front, and who will not ask the players to do something that he wants to do himself, is highly crucial,” he added.

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