Hardik Pandya eyes full-time India captaincy after completing Windies T20 series win

Spinners grab all 10 wickets as visitors clinch final match in Florida by 88 runs for 4-1 series triumph

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All-rounder Hardik Pandya said he is open to assuming the captaincy of the Indian team on a full-time basis after leading the side to a comprehensive victory in the final match of their Twenty20 series against West Indies.

India decider to rest regular skipper Rohit Sharma for the match as they had already secured the series during the fourth T20. In the final match, India cruised to an 88-run win on the back of a superb performance by their spinners in Lauderhill, Florida, on Sunday to a complete a 4-1 triumph.

The return to form of Pandya, who lead Gujarat Titans to the IPL title earlier in the year, has coincided with his rise to the leadership role as Sharma continues to struggle with maintaining his fitness.

After the series win in the Caribbean, Pandya said it was a "very special feeling" to captain India and when asked whether he was keen on the role in the future, the 28-year-old added: "Yeah, why not?

"If given a chance, I'll be more than happy to do it. But for now, we have a World Cup coming, it's about getting better as a team."

Pandya is no stranger to leadership roles, captaining the Gujarat to the Indian Premier League title this year in their debut season. He also led India in the 2-0 T20 series win against Ireland in June.

India have used seven captains across the three formats this year and Sharma said it was an encouraging sign for the team.

"I know it's very exciting to create so many leaders around the team ... and you want the guys to handle the pressure, who understand the game and know each other really well," the opening batsman told broadcaster Star Sports.

In the match, India’s spinners put on a show in Florida to take all 10 wickets.

The visitors scored 188-7 after choosing to bat first before dismissing West Indies for 100 in 15.4 overs. Only Shimron Hetmyer, with 56 runs off 35 balls, provided any resistance before falling to Indian spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who took 4-16 runs in 2.4 overs.

Hetmyer scored his fastest T20 international half-century in 28 balls, one delivery quicker than his previous best. He hit five fours and four sixes in his innings.

Axar Patel had 3-15 in three overs and Kuldeep Yadav 3-12 in four.

Updated: August 08, 2022, 3:50 PM
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