Hardik Pandya led from the front as Gujarat Titans defeated Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday and booked a berth in the final of IPL 2022. The GT skipper hit an unbeaten 40 and was involved in an unbeaten 106-run stand for the fourth wicket with man-of-the-match David Miller (68 not out).
Hardik Pandya said he had no feelings after Gujarat Titans reached the final in their maiden season. Hardik, who won four titles with Mumbai Indians, is yet to lose a final.
“I’ve started to balance things in my life.. this has been a constant effort through the last couple of years. In the end, my family, my son, my wife, and my brother as well have played a big role. They kind of allowed me to get neutral in life. I look forward to go home and spend some time with family, and that’s made me a better cricketer as well,” Hardik Pandya told Star Sports. “Don’t have much feelings right now. Trying to be neutral again I’ll say.”
Hardik Pandya said Gujarat Titans have different players who bring different values to the team and said it was important to have good people in the mix.
“All the 23 players are different characters, bring different things to the table. Was saying to Miller as well, if you have good people around you, you get good things. It’s been that story for us. The kind of people we have, the genuine human beings we have..
“I genuinely see even the players in the dugout are trying and praying for them to make sure they do well. That is something fantastic and that is the reason we have reached where we have reached.
“It’s all about making sure we respect this game. Rash has been fantastic throughout the season and throughout his cricketing journey. But I’m proud of Miller – the way we have played. Wherever my team requires me to play, I don’t generally demand where I want to bat. That’s not how I’ve got success,” he said.
Hardik Pandya has had his best season with the bat in IPL 2022. On Tuesday, he set the tone for Gujarat Titans with a quick start but then took a step back as David Miller smashed the Rajasthan Royals attack and hammered Prasidh Krishna for three sixes in the final over to complete a huge victory.
Hardik Pandya has now scored 453 runs from 14 matches at an average of 45.30. As GT captain, he has promoted himself up the order and taken the responsibility of scoring crucial runs for his team. Hardik’s approach even impressed former India coach Ravi Shastri who said the GT captain has thrived in his responsibility.
“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. “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.”
Gujarat Titans will now wait to see who among Lucknow Super Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals meet them in the title clash in Ahmedabad on May 29.