Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Tuesday (November 22) reacted to the popular demand to name him India's permanent T20I captain following their series win over New Zealand.
Earlier in May, Hardik led the new IPL team Gujarat Titans to the title in the 15th season of the league. Following his success in the leadership role during IPL 2022, Hardik was named India's T20I captain for the two T20 International games in Ireland.
India clinched the T20I series against New Zealand on Tuesday under Hardik's captaincy after the third match in Napier ended in a tie, based on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.
Following India's humiliating 10-wicket defeat against England in the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup, a section of fans and experts believe it's the right time to name Hardik the permanent T20I skipper.
While reacting to suggestions of his elevation to full-time T20I skipper, Hardik Pandya, in a post-match press conference said:
"Till things don't take place, you cannot think about that (on permanent T20I captaincy). Obviously, when somebody talks about it, it feels better. But for me, even if I lead for one match or one series, my captaincy will depend on the way I look towards the game."
"Whenever I am presented with an opportunity, I will try to display the type of cricket I want to play. We can put it as a unit."
It has been a mixed year for the Indian team in the shortest format of the game. While they have been very successful in bilateral series, their inability to reach the finals of both the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup has left fans and experts highly dissatisfied.
It is due to these failures that there have been demands to remove Rohit Sharma from the post of captain in T20Is. Hardik Pandya's name has been mentioned due to his success in the IPL and a decent start to his captaincy career in the international arena.
"We will be aggressive as a bowling unit" - Hardik Pandya
Under Hardik Pandya's captaincy, India won the second T20I of the series against New Zealand by bowling out the hosts for 126, with Deepak Hooda (4/10) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/26) doing major damage.
In the final T20I, New Zealand were in a commanding position at 129/2 after 15 overs, with Glenn Phillips (54) and Devon Conway (59) taking the charge against India's bowling attack.
Mohammed Siraj (4/17) and Arshdeep Singh (4/37) pulled things back during the slog overs as the hosts managed just 31 runs and lost eight wickets in their last five overs.
Speaking on the need for an aggressive bowling unit, Hardik Pandya said:
"For me and my bowling unit, the plan is simple - let's be aggressive. What's gonna happen? We're gonna lose the game or maybe they're gonna score 200. That's the worst thing that can happen. But at the same point of time, if we are aggressive and in a situation where they are ahead of the game, but if you keep the intent of being aggressive.
"Aggressive is not about going for the wicket for every ball. It's about your behavior, it's about your attitude, it's about your body language. And somewhere down the line, we will maintain this and be aggressive as a bowling unit. At the same time, we will pick bowlers as well who can intimidate the batsmen if needed."
India and New Zealand will move on with the upcoming three 50-over matches, with the first to commence on Friday (November 25) in Auckland.