File photo of Hardik Pandya© X (formerly Twitter)

Wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant can become the Indian cricket team vice-captain for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 ahead of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, according to a report by Cricbuzz. Pant made an impressive comeback in IPL 2024 after being out of action since his near-fatal car accident back in December 2022. On the other hand, Hardik Pandya has struggled – both as a batter and bowler – in the ongoing competition with many experts also questioning his ability to lead the star-studded Mumbai Indians side. The report claimed that Pant has an advantage over Hardik considering their current forms when it comes to the race to become Rohit Sharma‘s deputy in the T20 World Cup 2024.

“The national selectors, who are likely to meet on May 1, are expected to consider re-appointing Pant as vice-captain of India, a position he had held before being forced into a long injury hiatus after a near-fatal accident in December 2022.”

“Pant had even captained India in the five-match T20I series against South Africa in June 2022. For the record, he will be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the T20 World Cup in June.” the report stated.

There are few other positions where questions remain like the competition between Sanju Samson and KL Rahul to claim the second wicket-keeper position. Both cricketers have performed well in the IPL 2024 for their respective franchises and it can come down to the selectors’ preferences.

“Among other selection issues, the top order will consist of skipper Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav. The middle order will feature Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja. One or both of Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh will be there, along with either Sanju Samson or KL Rahul,” the report further added.

While Kuldeep Yadav seems to be a guaranteed member of India’s squad for the World Cup, veteran spinner Yuzvendra Chahal may once again miss out despite good showing for Rajasthan Royals.

“Kuldeep Yadav will occupy the specialist spinner’s position, and Axar Patel may edge out Ravi Bishnoi for the other spinner’s position. It is unlikely that Yuzvendra Chahal, the highest wicket-taker in the IPL, will be considered,” it concluded.

Topics mentioned in this article