“I feel he is a natural leader, people follow him”

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South African batsman David Miller has deemed Hardik Pandya a strong contender to be the full-time captain of India’s T20I cricket team.

The versatile star enjoyed a great start to his career as captain in the form of a maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) triumph with the Gujarat Titans (GT) as well as a couple of bilateral series wins to his name.

Miller performed under Pandya in the 2022 edition of the IPL. The Proteas hard-hitting hitter had a prolific season and finished the campaign with 481 points at a 142.73 strike rate.

Pandya has made a seamless transition to the national colors when it comes to captaincy. He led Team India to a 2-0 series win over Ireland and recently became the second captain after Virat Kohli to record a T20I series victory in New Zealand.

Calling Pandya a “natural leader”, Miller told PTI on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi T10 League:

“Just playing under him in the IPL I feel he’s a natural leader, people follow him. He lets you play the way you want. He’s very inclusive as a leader, he wants everyone world be close to each other.”

He continued:

“At the same time, he is clear with discipline. He has a lot of good attributes of a leader. In IPL he has improved more and more over the season and I see him doing that (with the Indian team as well).”

In the aftermath of the Indian team’s semi-final at the 2022 T20 World Cup, the idea of ​​a shared captain is being floated.

Rohit Sharma could be relieved of his duties as T20 skipper and the responsibility could potentially be handed to Pandya as management aim to inject a new brand of cricket with a relatively younger squad.

“He will make the players much better in spirit, 100%” – David Miller

Substitute VVS head coach Laxman has praised Hardik Pandya ahead of the T20I series against New Zealand.

The all-rounder carved out a place for himself in his short captaincy and received support from fans as well as former players.

Noting that Pandya allows players to express themselves on the pitch, Miller said:

“He will dramatically improve the mindset of the players. 100%. He allows the guys to do what they want, which is important.”

India concluded their T20I schedule for the year with a 1-0 series win over New Zealand. Their next shortest-format assignment comes in the form of a home series against the same opposition in early 2023.

Will Hardik Pandya be appointed full-time Team India T20 captain in future? Tell us what you think.

Read also : “I personally think this is the best I’ve ever seen live in T20 cricket” – Daryl Mitchell on Suryakumar Yadav’s Century in Game 3

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at