"I feel he is a natural leader; people follow him" - David Miller on Hardik Pandya - Sportskeeda

5 days ago 43

South African batter David Miller has opined that Hardik Pandya is a serious contender to be Team India's full-time captain in T20I cricket.

The star all-rounder has had an excellent start to his captaincy career 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 under his belt.

Miller played under Pandya in the 2022 edition of the IPL. The hard-hitting Proteas batter had a prolific season and ended the campaign with 481 runs at a strike rate of 142.73.

Pandya has made a seamless transition to 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 register a T20I series win in New Zealand.

Branding 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 is a natural leader, People follow him. He allows you to play the way that you feel like you can. He is very inclusive as a leader, he wants everyone to be close to each other."

He continued:

"At the same time, he is clear with discipline. He has got a lot of good attributes of a leader. In IPL he got better and better as the season progressed and I see him doing that (with the Indian team as well)."

In the aftermath of Team India's semi-final exit at the T20 World Cup 2022, the idea of a split captaincy is being brought forward.

Rohit Sharma could be relieved of his duties as the T20 skipper and the responsibility could potentially be bestowed on Pandya as the management aims to inject a new brand of cricket with a comparatively younger squad.

"He will make the players a lot better in the mindset, 100 percent" - David Miller

Stand-in head coach VVS Laxman heaped praise on Hardik Pandya ahead of the T20I series against New Zealand.

The all-rounder has carved a niche of his own in his short career as captain and has received the backing of fans as well as former players.

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

"He will make the players a lot better in the mindset. 100 per cent. He allows the guys to do what they want to do which is important."

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

Will Hardik Pandya be named as Team India's T20 captain on a full-time basis in the future? Let us know what you think.

Also Read: "I personally think that's the best I have ever seen live in T20 cricket" - Daryl Mitchell on Suryakumar Yadav's century in 3rd match

Edited by Samya Majumdar

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