After failing to reach the T20 World Cup final and taking home the trophy, Team India is looking to start again. Veterans and analysts have already suggested all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the leadership position since the next T20 World Cup would take place in 2024 and Rohit Sharma’s advanced age. The selectors named Hardik as the captain for the upcoming New Zealand T20I series even though they have not yet evaluated India’s World Cup effort in Australia or made a decision about Rohit’s future as the team’s captain. Kane Williamson, the captain of New Zealand, discussed the possibility of Hardik being the leader of the Indian team in the future before the commencement of the series on November 18.

After leading the Gujarat Titans to their first IPL victory earlier this year in their league debut, Hardik established himself as a T20I captain. After a lengthy absence due to injury, his strong all-around performance earned him a callback to the Indian squad. A month later, he was handed his first assignment as captain of the team when they toured Ireland.

Most veterans and cricket analysts approved of Hardik’s selection as captain and said that India should choose the all-rounder as the future leader in the format since most of the experienced players were rested for the New Zealand trip after the World Cup.

Williamson discussed Hardik as a leader and the possibility of him leading the team soon at a limited media session organized by Prime Video before the series.

“Hardik is undoubtedly a superstar in the sport. Many times, I played him. He is one of the top match-winners in demand. Additionally, his all-around ability, excellent bowling, and ability to strike the ball with such force are impressive. He is a unique cricket player. I haven’t played with him, so I can’t speak specifically to his leadership abilities, but he’s had a lot of success in the IPL. Additionally, India has a lot of excellent and seasoned players under its leadership. Therefore, under Rohit Sharma and others like Virat Kohli, their leadership and supervision of that would be beneficial,” he remarked.

Williamson also discussed the selection of Umran Malik for the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand. In 14 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad, which was coached by Williamson, the young Indian cricketer had a stellar IPL season earlier this year, picking up 22 wickets. Umran’s performance earned him his first India call-up before he made his series debut against Ireland, captained by Hardik.