"Don't Play This Sport To Show Anything To Anybody": Hardik Pandya Ahead Of India-Ireland T20I Series
Hardik Pandya will be leading the Indian cricket team in the two-T20I series against Ireland, starting on Sunday
Hardik Pandya has been a revelation in recent times with some great cricket in the IPL and for the national side. He led Gujarat Titans from the from the front to help the new franchise win the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. He was also the "Player of the Match" in the final with an all-round show. Then in the recently-concluded India-South Africa T20I series, Pandya batted with responsibility and impressed all. He will now be leading the Indian cricket team in the two-T20I series against Ireland, starting on Sunday. Ahead of the game, he was asked how he wants to prove his mettle because after the series, he won't be the captain anymore when the seniors return.
Pandya gave a string reply to the question. "I am not here to show anything to anybody. I have got an opportunity to lead India, that itself is a big thing for me. I don't play this sport to show anything to anybody. I am good enough. I will see in the future, otherwise more than anything I am just focussing on what I can bring in this series," Pandya said.
Pandya added that the team may give debuts to young players in the series, though the focus will be on playing the best XI.
"We want to give opportunity to people but at the same time we want to play with the best XI as well. But there will be situation, where we will be giving caps to people. It's about making sure that when we go into the park, we have the best XI playing. So, that will be focus," Pandya added.
Before the recently-concluded series against South Africa, Hardik had last played for Team India in 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE. In the last series against South Africa, Hardik Pandya had scored 117 runs and he was not able to take a single wicket with the ball in hand.
In IPL 2022, Hardik had scored 487 runs with the bat and he also managed to take eight wickets, out of which three came in the final against Rajasthan Royals.
India squad for Ireland T20I series: Hardik Pandya (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi.