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Hardik Pandya opens doors for conversation with any player who feels hurt for not getting a chance

Assuring that he is a people person, Hardik Pandya is confident that he has the skills to take along players, who he is forced to bench due to combination compulsion.

new zealand vs india 2022 Hardik Pandya opens doors for conversation with any player who feels hurt for not getting a chance snt
First Published Nov 22, 2022, 8:31 PM IST

Hardik Pandya affirms that he enjoys interacting with people and is certain that he can enlist players he is compelled to bench because of combination compulsion.

The all-rounder from Baroda, who guided India to a 1-0 series victory in New Zealand, is thought to be the perfect Rohit Sharma stand-in for the limited-overs game.

Also read: IND vs NZ 2022-23, Napier T20I: Rain robs hosts of chance to level, SKY adjudged Man of the Series

If given a chance to serve in a leadership capacity in the future, Pandya promised to lead his team and play the style of cricket he knows well.

Pandya led the team in his second T20 match as captain against New Zealand after leading the team against Ireland in June.

How does he interpret the opinions of Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, who consider him to be a long-term captain? "If people are saying, you feel good about it but till something happens (official announcement), you can't say," Pandya said after the rain-hit third T20 in Napier. 

"To be honest, my thing is simple, if I do one match or one series, I will lead the team my way, how I see and perceive the game. Whenever I am given the opportunity, I will always go out and play the brand of cricket I know. As a unit, we will display my brand. As far as whatever (captaincy) comes in future, we will see," the Baroda player said. 

Flamboyant batter Sanju Samson and speed merchant Umran Malik missed out on game time during the series, but Pandya insisted that there is "enough time" for everyone to get "enough opportunities" and a "long rope". 

 Also read: ICC T20 World Cup 2024 - New format to debut; know all details here

"Had it been a bigger series and not three games, we could have played them. But I don't believe in chop and change in a short series and going forward also that will be my philosophy," he added. 

However, he knows that people dislike waiting around and that candid discussion is necessary so that the captain and the player can express their views.

"It's not difficult to handle the situation where players feel security. I share a cordial rapport with all players and the players I am unable to pick, there is nothing personal and even they know it. It is because of combination I am not able to play them," he said. 

"I am a people's man and if anyone feels otherwise, my doors are always open to come and have chat with me. I understand their feelings. Sanju Samson is an unfortunate case. We had to play him but for some strategic reason, we couldn't play him," he was frank in his admission. 

The discussions, no matter how frank it is, players who miss out are bound to feel bad and Pandya empathises with them. 

"I can understand that if I stand in his shoes that even if you are continuously benched for India. It is difficult, as much as I speak to them, it's no consolation for not playing, but at same time, if I can repeat the point and keep healthy atmosphere, it's fine," Pandya said.

"If players are feeling bad, they can come and speak to me or the coach. Going forward, if I remain the captain, I don't think that will be an issue. My behaviour and nature ensures that we are a close-knit unit," he added.

Also read: New Zealand vs India 2022: Sensational Suryakumar Yadav believes Test call-up is around the corner

(With inputs from PTI)

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