"To Stay Relevant...": Ravi Shastri On How Hardik Pandya Aced Gujarat Titans Captaincy
The Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans finished the IPL 2022 league stage at the top position with most number of wins (10).
Hardik Pandya has been impressive as the Gujarat Titans captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Despite having no prior experience of leading a top side, the allrounder aced the job in GT colours. He has been great with the bat too while earlier in the season he regularly bowled. Pandya's astute captaincy was one of the main reasons behind GT becoming the first team to qualify for IPL 2022 playoffs. Pandya's team finished the league stage at the top position with most number of wins (10). His performance as the skipper has impressed former India coach Ravi Shastri.
"Hardik has been most impressive as a leader but what I liked most about him was his focus and his composure. He has had the eyes on the ball from the outset," Ravi Shastri told Star Sports before the IPL 2022 Qualifier 1 between GT and Rajasthan Royals.
"He thrived on that responsibility of being captain - he had mentioned over there that it was for his home state where he was born and he was brought up. It's that added pressure and he thrived on it. He accepted that responsibility by coming up the order because he knew he might not be bowling in all the matches.
"So, to stay relevant, to stay as a leader leading from the front, he had to come up that one position or two positions up the order. And don't be surprised in today's game if he does not bowl.. because he reserved himself as a bowler to bowl in crucial matches and I won't be surprised if he comes and bowls an over or two today (for Qualifier 1 against Rajasthan Royals)."
"Gujarat have nothing to lose, they have played excellent cricket and they have got.. just like (Jos) Buttler for Rajasthan Royals, they have Shubman Gill who is due for runs and if he starts off, he can score very quickly," Shastri added.