IND vs NZ: Chance for youngsters to put a strong case ahead of 2023 ODI World Cup, says skipper Hardik Pandya

Hardik will lead Team India in the white-ball series against New Zealand with the first T20I starting in Wellington on Friday.

India skipper Hardik Pandya during a training session in Wellington.

India skipper Hardik Pandya during a training session in Wellington. | Photo Credit: AFP

Hardik will lead Team India in the white-ball series against New Zealand with the first T20I starting in Wellington on Friday.

India skipper Hardik Pandya said that the team is disappointed after failing to reach the final of the T20 World Cup 2022 but that it needs to learn and cope with the loss. India lost to England by 10 wickets in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup as the men in blue’s quest to win an ICC trophy continues.

Hardik will lead Team India in the white-ball series against New Zealand with the first T20I starting in Wellington on Friday. India will play three T20Is and as many ODIs between November 18-30 in New Zealand.

Regular skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli have been rested from the series as India aims to put the disappointment of the T20 World Cup 2022 behind and start the series on a winning note.

“There is a disappointment of the T20 World Cup but we are professionals. We need to cope with it the way we cope with our success and move forward. Look to get better and rectify the mistakes we made,” Hardik said while interacting with media persons in Wellington.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan took a dig at the Indian team for not being able to win ICC titles despite having a wealth of talent.

“India are the most under-performing white-ball team in history,” Vaughan wrote in his column for the Telegraph. However, Hardik said that the Indian team doesn’t has to prove to anyone.

“People will have their opinion which we respect but being at the international level, I don’t think we need to prove anything to anyone. It’s a sport, you keep trying and you keep getting better and eventually when the result is supposed to happen it will happen. But, yes, we need to work on a few things and going forward we would rectify those and work on them. We have time for about two years as the next T20 World Cup will be in 2024 and between that, a lot of cricket will be played, people will get enough chances and the roadmap starts from now but it’s too fresh now, and we will sit down and have discussions on those grounds. But right now we just let the boys enjoy playing here in this beautiful country and we will talk about the future later,” he said.

Focus on 2023 World Cup

India will be hosting the 50-overs World Cup next year and Hardik said that the tour offers youngsters a chance to showcase their skills and put a strong case going forward.

“Every series is important and you never play any series thinking it’s not important. Yes, World Cup is there in India but it’s a different format. It’s a 50-over format which is different from what we will play in the next three games but it’s an important series and eventually if they do well here, they will be able to put a strong case going forward,” Hardik said.

In absence of the regular players, young guns like Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan have been included in the squad and Hardik feels it’s a good opportunity for the youngsters to showcase their skills.

“The main boys are not here but at the same point in time, the youngsters have also played for a while and we are very excited to have the new bunch of players and it’s going to be quite an exciting series,” the skipper said.

India T20I squad for New Zealand series: Hardik Pandya (c), Rishabh Pant (vc), Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

India ODI squad for New Zealand series: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Rishabh Pant (vc & wk), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), W Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik.

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