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Hardik Pandya (Photo: BCCI/ X)
Hardik Pandya likely to lead India in T20I series against Sri Lanka; KL Rahul to captain in ODIs: Sources
Hardik Pandya (Photo: BCCI/ X)

New Delhi [India], July 10 (ANI): Following Rohit Sharma's announcement to retire from T20Is after winning the ICC T20 World Cup, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to lead the Men in Blue in the shortest format of the game. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul will lead the team in ODIs, as per the sources.

"Hardik Pandya is all set to lead the Indian team in the T20, Rohit Sharma's announced his retirement. Hardik is also unlikely to be rested for the upcoming series vs Sri Lanka," BCCI Sources told ANI.

In the T20 WC, Pandya scored 144 runs in six innings at an average of 48.00 and a strike rate of 151.57, with a half-century and best score of 50*. He also took 11 wickets in eight games at an average of 17.36 and an economy rate of 7.64, with the best figures of 3/20.

This tournament marked a redemption tale for Hardik, who was booed out in every stadium across India during the IPL 2024 after taking over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians (MI) from five-time IPL champion Rohit Sharma. The all-rounder, who was just making a comeback into the game after suffering an injury to his ankle in the 50-over World Cup last year, became a victim of online trolling and fan wars as he was accused of betraying the MI franchise, Rohit and his former franchise Gujarat Titans (GT), which he led to IPL title in 2022.

On the other hand, KL Rahul was omitted from the Men in Blue T20 WC squad despite performing brilliantly in the ODI World Cup 2023 which was held in India.

Rahul has 386 runs in nine innings, an average of 77.20 and a strike rate of 98.72. Coming in at number five, Rahul has kept the Indian innings together on multiple occasions this World Cup.

He scored a match-winning knock against Australia in India's first encounter when the hosts were 2 for 3. He had a 165-run partnership with Kohli and hit an unbeaten 97 to lead India to a historic victory in Chennai.

"KL Rahul will lead the Indian team in the absence of Rohit Sharma as the board believes he makes runs in the longer format," the sources added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah on Tuesday announced that former cricketer Gautam Gambhir has been appointed as the Indian men's cricket team's new head coach.

Gambhir was a left-handed opener for the India team and served as Kolkata Knight Riders' team mentor in the Indian Premier League 2024. KKR lifted their third IPL trophy this season under Gambhir's guidance.

Jay Shah took to his official X account and announced Gambhir's appointment as Team India's new Head Coach.

The BCCI secretary added that he has his full confidence in Gambhir and that he will be the ideal person to steer Indian Cricket forward.

"It is with immense pleasure that I welcome Mr @GautamGambhir as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Modern-day cricket has evolved rapidly, and Gautam has witnessed this changing landscape up close. Having endured the grind and excelled in various roles throughout his career, I am confident that Gautam is the ideal person to steer Indian Cricket forward. His clear vision for #TeamIndia, coupled with his vast experience, positions him perfectly to take on this exciting and most sought-after coaching role. The @BCCI fully supports him as he embarks on this new journey," Shah wrote on X.

Rahul Dravid's tenure as the head coach of Team India came to an end after the conclusion of the final match of the T20 World Cup 2024, where India beat South Africa by seven runs to win the prestigious trophy after 17 years. (ANI)

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