I won’t be surprised if Hardik Pandya is the next Indian captain: Waqar Younis

Pakistan legends Younis, Wasim Akram, and Misbah ul Haq heaped praises on India all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

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Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The T20 World Cup 2022 encounter between arch-rivals India and Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday evening was probably one of the most thrilling contests that one would have experienced in recent times. The game witnessed every aspect of cricket in the final over, be it catches, stumping, a big six, running single, double, or three runs, byes, no-ball, free-hit, wide, and whatnot. The final over had all the drama.

And all the tension, all the drama was put to rest after the final delivery of the game, when India required one run to win off it. India winning the game was a relief to tens of thousands of people across the nation, but the credit must be given to those who deserve it- the heroes of the game- Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya.

The duo stitched up a 113-run fifth wicket stand, which was one of the crucial reasons behind India’s victory. Kohli, being a legend of the modern era, did what he is best at. But Pandya, ever since he returned to international cricket earlier this year, has shown great transformation in his game, and also his mindset, which has earned him praises from numerous cricketing legends.

In a discussion on A Sports, former Pakistan cricketers Waqar Younus, Wasim Akram, and Misbah ul Haq opined on how the star all-rounder may eventually become India's captain.

“Hardik Pandya ko agar aap dekhe, pehli dafa usne shayad captaincy ki hai, IPL main, and the way he led the team. Unhone IPL jeeti hai. Usse andaza hota hai ki how he handled the pressure. Especially uska bhi jo role hai team main as a finisher. And finisher aap team main tabhi ho sakte hai jab aap mentally strong ho and ek self-belief ho. And woh read kar rahe the ki kis tarike se le ke jaa sakte hai,” Haq said on A Sports. (If you look at Hardik Pandya, he undertook captaincy for the first time at the IPL 2022. Look at the way he led the team. He won the IPL, that gives you an idea of how he handled the pressure. Especially his role as a finisher. You can portray the role in the team only if you’re strong mentally and you have a self-belief, which Pandya displayed clearly and showed how one needs to read the game).

Hardik Pandya is a force in the team: Wasim Akram

While Misbah ul Haq was speaking, Waqar Younis cut him in the middle and went on to say:

“I won’t be surprised if he is the next Indian captain.”

It was then Akram who joined the bandwagon after Younis’ comments as he added:

“Pehle woh IPL main captain bana, waha jeeta. Abhi woh team main ek main force hai, woh captain ko advice deta hai, ek calm influence hai, and he is learning. Ekdum se agar deep end main daal do toh usko samjh hi nehi ayegi.” (First, he became the IPL captain and won it there. Now he is a force in the team, who gives advice to the captain, who is a calm influence, and he is also learning. If you put him in the deep end suddenly then he won’t understand anything).

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