'First pick the in-form players': Gambhir's blunt message to BCCI amid Hardik vs Rohit vs Suryakumar for T20WC captain
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has sent a clear-cut message to BCCI amid the captaincy debate for the T20 World Cup.
The outside talk has been louder amid India's preparations of the T20 World Cup in June next year. Post the ODI World Cup, some of the players have returned, sparking a heathy competition within the team for a first-choice place in the XI with the selectors having a keen eye on proceedings in a bid to chalk down their T20 World Cup squad. But away from the action and the selection debates, the off-the-field chatter, surrounding the captaincy has grown louder. And former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has sent a clear-cut message to BCCI amid the captaincy debate.
There wouldn't have been this discussion had it not been for Rohit Sharma handing a clear message to the selection committee and the team management over his intentions in the format from which he has been absent since November 2022. With him absent, Hardik Pandya is claimed to be the ideal captaincy replacement for the T20 World Cup given that the all-rounder has been the unofficial skipper in the shortest format for the better part of two years now.
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Amid the debate, India have found a third captaincy candidate in Suryakumar Yadav. He made his first appearance as a leader in an international game in the Australia series post the ODI World Cup, where India won 4-1, and has been retained for the South Africa contest as well.
Speaking to India Today amid the captaincy debate for the T20 World Cup, Gambhir feels the selectors should first pick the players who are in form before thinking about captaincy, which is less important than getting the right squad.
“Captaincy is not important, the team is. First pick the players who are in form. And a player who is in form should be made the captain. You won't make an out-of-form player the captain, right? Whether that is Rohit Sharma or Hardik Pandya or Suryakumar Yadav? If Rohit isn't in form, you won't even pick him probably. Picking the captain is not important, picking the right squad for the T20 World Cup is. And before that we have the IPL. If anyone performs well then you should consider him as well,” he said.
There has been no official conformation over Rohit's T20I return while BCCI secretary Jay Shah admitted that he hopes to see Hardik in the three-match T20I contest against Afghanistan in January.
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