India’s T20 captain Hardik Pandya says his side has nothing to prove on their New Zealand tour despite a disappointing World Cup campaign.
Pandya will captain India for the first of three T20Is starting in Wellington on Friday with Shikhar Dhawan then taking over the captaincy for the three ODIs that follow.
India were dumped out of the T20 World Cup in the semi-finals last Thursday by eventual winners England, whose former captain Michael Vaughan accused the Indian team of regularly failing to convert their considerable talent into titles.
“India are the most under-performing white-ball team in history,” Vaughan wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
India last won the ODI World Cup as hosts back in 2011, but Pandya dismissed Vaughan’s comments.
“When you don’t do well, people will have their opinion, which we respect, but at international level, we don’t have anything to prove to anyone,” Pandya told reporters in Wellington.
The all-rounder and his vice-captain Rishabh Pant are the new Indian stars tipped to take over from regular skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, both rested for the New Zealand tour.
India’s head coach Rahul Dravid is also taking a break with VVS Laxman, head of their National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, in charge.
Nevertheless, India have included new batting sensation Suryakumar Yadav, who can hit the ball to all parts of the ground with an array of shots.
Speedster Umran Malik has been added to bolster the bowling, which has recently failed to fire in white-ball matches and the World Cup.
“The main boys are not here, but we have a new bunch – new guys with lots of excitement and energy,” added Pandya.
He sees the New Zealand tour as a good way to work off any World Cup frustrations.
“Obviously, there is the disappointment of the World Cup, but we need to cope with it just like successes: move forward and rectify the mistakes we made so we don’t repeat them.”
© Agence France-Presse