Hardik Pandya is a fabulous leader, leads by example and players confide in him: VVS Laxman

Stand-in India coach VVS Laxman said that Hardik Pandya is a fabulous leader who leads by example and players confide in him.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Nov 17, 2022 11:52 IST

Hardik Pandya leads by example and players confide in him: VVS Laxman (AFP Photo)

Hardik Pandya leads by example and players confide in him: VVS Laxman (AFP Photo)

By India Today Web Desk: India’s stand-in head coach VVS Laxman heaped rich praise on Hardik Pandya, who will lead the T20I side on the New Zealand tour, saying the star all-rounder leads by example and the players also confide in him.

Pandya was named India’s T20I captain after regular skipper Rohit Sharma was rested for the series against New Zealand. Several other Indian players, including Sharma, have been rested for the New Zealand series following the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

”He is a fabulous leader you know. Obviously, what he has done for Gujarat Titans in his first year of captaincy, winning the IPL isn’t a mean achievement and I have spent time with him from the Ireland series and not only is he tactically good but also very calm and that is something very important when you play at the highest level,” the current NCA chief said ahead of the opening T20I on Friday.

”There will be situations when you will be under pressure and there you will require to be calm. But also his presence in the dressing room and his work ethic is exemplary. Hardik is a players’ captain and is approachable and all the players go and confide in him,” said the former India batter.

Laxman further stated that India will be looking to pack the side with T20 specialists as it seeks course correction after yet another World Cup failure. Speaking to media ahead of the New Zealand limited overs tour, Laxman said multi-dimensional players are the need of the hour in T20 cricket.

”In white ball cricket, you need specialist players and going forward, in T20 cricket, you will see a lot more T20 specialists. T20 cricket has shown us over the years that you need multi-dimensional cricketers,” Laxman added.

”We have bowlers who can bat and batters who can bowl. More number of bowlers who can bat allows the team to have depth and batters to have freedom to go out and express themselves. ”I think that’s the need of hour and more and more teams will get that into their selection process and identify multi-dimensional players.” The next T20 World Cup is two years away but India will hit the reset button with the three games against New Zealand, followed by as many ODIs.

The top order’s approach copped criticism in Australia and Laxman expects the likes of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan to bat fearlessly in the absence of senior players.

”We have a top order that has capability to bat fearlessly. My message to top order is to bat fearlessly and express yourself but also change your strategy as per game situation. Yes we don’t have KL, Rohit and Virat here but who are here are also experienced enough players.” Laxman also added that the series could see the reunion of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the playing eleven as India aim for wickets in the middle overs.

India and New Zealand will clash in Wellington on Friday in the first T20 International of the three-match series.

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