'Rahul Dravid doesn't support Hardik Pandya like...': Former India cricketer questions The Wall's role as T20I coach
On Hardik Pandya's run as India captain, Parthiv Patel says the support he is getting from Rahul Dravid not the same as Ashish Nehra.
When Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans to a maiden IPL crown in their debut season, India potentially had the answer to 'who after Rohit Sharma?' This continued till the T20 World Cup in Australia, where after India's defeat to England in the semifinal, the captaincy duties were silently handed over to Hardik. Rohit may not have officially stepped down as India's T20I captain but regardless of the numerous instances where he has insisted on not giving up the format, the fact is that India's T20I setup has moved on from him and Virat Kohli. Like in 2007, it is time for the younger blood to take centre stage.
But while all this sounds hunky dory, the reality is proving to be pretty far-fetched. Following back-to-back defeats at the hands of a 7th-ranked West Indies, Hardik is in the firing line and one more defeat could make him the first India captain to lose a bilateral series to West Indies in 17 years. Despite leading India in 12 T20Is and boasting a win percentage of 66.7, Hardik's captaincy has been rightly called out, and for some pretty surprising calls at that.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel analysed a couple of recent errors in Hardik's captaincy. Explaining why Hardik's run as India captain isn't as effective as his two seasons with Gujarat, Parthiv reckons the support he is getting from coach Rahul Dravid is a stark contrast to Ashish Nehra, his coach at GT. Parthiv, Dravid's former India teammate, also raised concerns and expressed his doubts over Dravid's credentials as a T20 coach, which is leading to muddled decision-making.
"There have been a couple of instances about Hardik Pandya's captaincy which have been glaring mistakes. The first was giving that over to Axar Patel in the first game when Nicholas Pooran had come out to bat. And today, this one. Hardik Pandya the captain has been brilliant with GT but at Gujarat Titans he had that support of Ashish Nehra. But is Rahul Dravid that proactive coach or person which we are looking for in the T20 format. I don't think so. In my mind, we need someone who is proactive. Hardik Pandya has that spark but he needs that support, which to me Rahul Dravid doesn't provide," Parthiv said while speaking on Cricbuzz.
Parthiv on where Hardik misread the game in 2nd T20I
After a narrow 4-run defeat in the first T20I, India let the game slip away when they failed to defend 12 off the last 2 overs against West Indies' tail. Hardik's decision to not give Yuzvendra Chahal – who had picked 2 wickets in the 16th over – a fourth over when there were 3 still left in the innings has been criticised aplenty. Mukesh Kumar bowled the penultimate over and in a matter of five deliveries, allowed West Indies to go 2-0 ahead. Like several former cricketers, Parthiv too believes that keeping Chahal for the last over is what cost India the game.
"See, a T20 format is usually something which changes around in one moment of the game. One decision here and there, which in this case was Hardik Pandya not giving that over to Chahal. He did not finish his quota of 4 overs, so to me that was something which changed the game in the favour of West Indies," added the former keeper batter.