Irfan Pathan, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. Photo- X
Irfan Pathan, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. Photo- X

Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan took a dig at Hardik Pandya being named India vice-captain for the T20 World Cup 2024 and said that Jasprit Bumrah would’ve been a better choice to be Rohit Sharma’s deputy.

Hardik Pandya’s woes are widely known in the 2024 Indian Premier League season. From hurting the hearts of Gujarat Titans fans to upsetting Rohit Sharma supporters by taking over the captaincy reigns, Pandya has faced the wrath of jeering fans in the IPL 2024.

Irfan Pathan has been on the case of Hardik Pandya since the IPL 2024 began and took a fresh dig at the all-rounder, questioning his commitment to Indian cricket.

“Previously, Hardik Pandya held the captaincy, but Rohit Sharma took over for T20 matches. Post T20 World Cup, there was a new plan; they aimed for a younger team with Pandya and Surya as potential captains. Yet, questions arise regarding Pandya’s performance consistency and commitment to Indian cricket.

Regular participation in domestic cricket is essential for serving Indian cricket throughout the year. Injuries are inevitable, but proper planning involving consistent match play, including domestic cricket, is vital for a player’s return. But then there’s this one player who returns from injury without fulfilling the same requirements,” Pathan told Star Sports.

Hardik was also the vice-captain of the Indian team at the 2023 World Cup. However, an ankle injury cut short his campaign in the ICC event last year.

Jasprit Bumrah wouldn’t have been a bad choice: Irfan Pathan on Hardik Pandya being named India vice-captain

Hardik’s MI team is ranked ninth in the IPL, with six points from ten games. Despite struggling with the bat and ball in the IPL 2024, Hardik was named to the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. Instead of naming Hardik as vice-captain, Irfan believes the national selectors should have chosen speed ace Jasprit Bumrah as Rohit’s deputy for the ICC event.

“To succeed in tournaments like the World Cup, it’s imperative that every player is treated fairly and equally. So, now, coming back to your question about Hardik Pandya being vice-captain, I understand the rationale behind it due to the importance of continuity in leadership.

“However, considering the current performance, the selectors opting for continuity may be understandable. Yet, I believe someone like Bumrah wouldn’t have been a bad choice either,” Pathan concluded.

Hardik Pandya was India captain in T20Is in 2022-23 when Rohit Sharma chose to focus on ODIs in prep for the ODI World Cup 2023. He won a T20I series in New Zealand, but lost to West Indies in the Caribbean.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma And Virat Kohli Set To Retire From T20Is After T20 World Cup 2024 – Report