India set to appoint Hardik Pandya as vice-captain for Asia Cup

India will reportedly appoint all-rounder Hardik Pandya for their vice-captain position in the Asia Cup 2022 and T20 World Cup. Sources from BCII said that Pandya could take over the position from Kannaur Lokesh Rahul who had to miss the ongoing T20 I due to a groin injury.

According to reports, that Pandya’s performance in recent months is one of the reasons why India would like to give him the position.

"The management is discussing over one name for vice-captaincy,” the source said. “It could be Hardik Pandya as he gave us good results in the past. He made Gujarat Titans the champions of IPL 2022 under his leadership.

“He showed great performances in the series against South Africa and England. We want to name an all-rounder for this post and in the current scenario, Hardik deserves this post."

India’s captaincy is shuffling fast since Virat Kohli gave up this position in November 2021. Rohit Sharma then stepped up to the position in white ball format and Rahul filled the vice-captain position. Now with Rahul’s unavailability, Pandya is a front-runner for the position.

Rahul played his last competitive game in the IPL 2022 Eliminator on May 25 in Kolkata. Meanwhile, his last white-ball game for India was in February before undergoing surgery for his groin injury in June, just before the home T20I series against South Africa.

After the surgery, he continued training at the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru.

At the same time, Pandya seems to be having a glorious run, winning the IPL 2022 title with his team Gujarat Titans in their debut season. Pandya scored 487 runs in 15 games at an average of 44.27 and picked up eight wickets.

Nothing new for Pandya

For Pandya, being a vice-captain is basically not an entirely new experience. In the home series against South Africa, he was playing the role in the 2-2 game. He was also named captain when India beat the home team Ireland 2-0 in the two-match T20I series.

The situation attracted the attention of New Zealand’s former all-rounder Scott Styris. As a former player himself, he admitted that this is a difficult situation for Rahul, giving his spot to another player in the team.

“It’s a different mindset for players because they don’t want to be out and they don’t want to be giving other players opportunities,” Styris on ‘Sports Over The Top’ show on Sports18. “I know India has a very good culture within its group, so it doesn’t mind allowing other players opportunities all the time.”

India is the most successful country in the Asia Cup, winning it seven times, both in ODI and T20I formats. They are the defending champions in the tournament and have been holding the trophy in the last two editions.

In terms of appearance in the tournament, they have participated in 12 editions, losing only to Sri Lanka (13 times).

The only time they didn’t take part in the tournament was in 1986. During their participation in the Asia Cup, India have only failed three times to play in the final. It was in 2000, 2012, and 2014 when they only managed to finish third at the table.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.