Since India’s heartbreaking loss to England in the 2022 T20 World Cup semis earlier this year, there has been a growing chorus of veterans and experts who feel Rohit Sharma should be replaced as the team’s T20I skipper. Hardik Pandya has been backed by many to replace him as the captain in the shortest format. He did do an impressive job in the New Zealand series after the World Cup. Joining the chorus, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh has given his verdict on whether Hardik should replace Rohit as the captain.

Hardik was never in the radar for captaincy in any format. He never before led any side in any tournament before this year. But then IPL 2022 happened. He led debutants Gujarat Titans to an impressive title win. A month later, he led India to a 2-0 T20I series whitewash in Ireland and Hardik was not just in the radar, he became the top choice to replace Rohit in the T20I format.

The discussion grew with each passing day and reached its peak moments after India lost the semis. He was handed the responsibility to lead a new-look India side in New Zealand right after the World Cup and he impressed yet again.

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Asked in his interview with PTI if Hardik should captain India in T20s after Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan’s verdict was of just five words.

“If it happens, Hardik is the right option,” he said.

Earlier, Harbhajan had backed Gujarat Titans coach Ashish Nehra to replace Rahul Dravid as the coach in T20I format.

“In T20 format you can have someone like Ashish Nehra who recently retired from the game. He knows this better than, with all due respect to Rahul, we have played together for so many years, he has vast knowledge but this is a tricky format.

“Someone who has played the game more recently is better suited for the coaching job in T20s. I am not saying you remove Rahul from T20. Ashish and Rahul can work together to build this team for the 2024 World Cup,” Harbhajan told PTI.

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