Gautam Gambhir picks shocking left-field candidate for India T20I captaincy
Following India’s semi-final exit from the T20 World Cup 2022 earlier this season, and current all-format skipper Rohit Sharma being 35, there have been discussions and debates regarding the team’s future T20I captain.
Gautam Gambhir, the former T20 and ODI World Cup winner, named all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who recently led India in their 1-0 T20I series win in New Zealand, as his first pick. Pandya had led the Gujarat Titans to an IPL triumph in their maiden season of participation earlier this year, following which he also captained India to a 2-0 series win in Ireland.
"Hardik Pandya obviously is in line," said Gambhir at an event organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi on Sunday, November 27. "But that's going to be unfortunate for Rohit because I think judging his captaincy in only one ICC event is not the right way to probably judge him."
The second pick, a rather surprising one was Mumbai Prithvi Shaw. Shaw hasn’t played for India in any format since July 2021, with his fitness too, having been a subject of criticism in the past. He was also suspended for a doping violation back in 2019. The 23-year-old had led India to the Under 19 World Cup 2018 win in New Zealand.
"The reason I've picked Prithvi Shaw, I know a lot of people talk about his off-field activities, but that is what the job of the coach and the selectors are," Gambhir said. "The selectors' job isn't just to pick the 15, but also to get people to walk the right path.
"Prithvi Shaw is one I feel can be a very aggressive captain, a very successful captain because you see that aggression in the way a person plays the sport."
India is currently on a tour of New Zealand, where they trail 0-1 in the three-match ODI series after having lost the opener in Auckland and the second in Hamilton ended in a draw. The decider will be played in Christchurch on Wednesday, November 30.
Shaw was a part of the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022 and scored 217 runs at 31.00 in Mumbai’s run to the pre-quarterfinal.