Rahul Dravid with Hardik Pandya | PTI
Dublin: Ahead of the first T20I against Ireland at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground on Sunday, the new captain Hardik Pandya said that in the series they will be a couple of caps given but their goal is to have the best team.
India did not give any cap to the players in the series against South Africa. Rishabh Pant the captain of the Indian team against the Proteas decided to stick to his combinations.
"We want to give the opportunity to people but want to play our best XI as well. There will be situations where there will be a couple of caps given but more than anything, it's about making sure that we have the best XI," Hardik Pandya said in a pre-match press conference on the eve of the first T20I.
"I am not here to show anything to anybody. I have got an opportunity to lead India, which itself is a big thing for me. I don't play this sport to show anything to anybody. I am good enough. I will see in the future, otherwise more than anything I am just focussing on what I can bring in this series," Hardik said.
The all-rounder is in the depth of a spectacular comeback stage. He led debutants Gujarat Titans (GT) to a dominating title win in the 2022 IPL- his first as captain.''Earlier also, I liked taking up responsibility and now, it is also the same, but it is a bit more responsibility now. I always believed that I did better when I took responsibility,'' Hardik said.
''If I can take ownership of my own things and take my own decisions, they tend to be strong. Cricket is such a game, staying strong during situations is very important," he added.
Talking about playing under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, Hardik said he learned a lot about leadership qualities from them but said every skipper has their own style.
"Obviously I have taken a lot of things from them (Dhoni and Kohli) but at the same time, I also want to be myself, obviously my understanding of the game is different but I have taken a lot of good vibes from them. I am not instinctive but I see more situation than go by my gut. At what point of time, what decision the team requires, I focus on that rather than going on my gut. Gut always goes 50-50,'' he said.
India is scheduled to lock horns with Ireland in 2-match T20I series starting from Sunday. (ANI)