The next major event in the cricketing world is the T20 World Cup 2022, which is set to take place in Australia from October 16 to November 13. Many teams have begun the preparations by involving in the bilateral T20I series, including India, who are currently engaged in the five-match T20I leg against South Africa.
Notably, India had a forgetful campaign in the previous edition of the multi-team tournament. Despite being a strong side, the ‘Men in Blue’ could not make it to the group stage and were ousted early from the tournament. Now under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, India will be aiming to change the fortunes.
Before locking their final 15 for the big event in Australia, India will be looking to explore multiple options and speaking about the same former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has picked one star who could be the ‘game-changer’ for India not just in the tournament but also in the future.
Gavaskar heaped praises on Hardik Pandya, who recently made his comeback to the national side on the bank of a super impressive IPL season. Hardik wore the Indian jersey in the first T20I against South Africa on June 9. On his return, the 28-year-old smashed an unbeaten 31 off 12 balls to help India post 211/4.
Not to mention, Hardik did not play a single competitive game since the 2021 T20 World Cup, and there were doubts surrounding his bowling. However, the Baroda cricketer capped off a brilliant season both as a captain and as an all-rounder for his IPL franchise Gujarat Titans (GT). He finished with 487 runs in the tournament and also picked up eight wickets, including his career-best 3/17 in the final.
“I think he is going to be the game-changer for India, more often than not, in all the matches that are due to come, not just the World Cup but every single match that India plays, whether he bats at No. 5, whether he comes into the bowl at first change or second change. Sometimes I will actually want to see him with the new ball,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.