Hardik Pandya along with veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, is dominating the race to be the captain of the Indian National Cricket Team in the five-match T20I series against South Africa at home, with several senior players likely to be rested, including captain Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah.
The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa will get off on June 9 in Delhi, with the following matches taking place in Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Bengaluru. Dhawan or Hardik is also expected to captain India in the two-match T20I series against Ireland.
Captain Rohit Sharma, vice-captain KL Rahul, elite pacer Jasprit Bumrah, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, and former captain Virat Kohli are all expected to be rested for the series against South Africa.
“The selectors have a couple of choices. Shikhar Dhawan, as he has already captained India in absence of Virat, Rohit and Rahul during last year’s Sri Lanka series. But Hardik Pandya’s impressive captaincy for Gujarat Titans hasn’t gone unnoticed. So it will be a close call,” a senior BCCI source familiar with the development told PTI on requesting anonymity.
“All the senior India players will get at least three and half weeks of complete rest. Rohit, Virat, KL, Rishabh and Jasprit will all directly go to England for the ‘fifth Test’ following the white-ball series.
“We need all our key players to remain fresh for the England series,” source further stated.