IPL 2022 Qualifier 1, GT vs RR: Former India coach Ravi Shastri said Hardik Pandya has done well to take more responsibility as a batter for Gujarat Titans and heaped praise on him for leading Gujarat Titans from the front.
Hardik Pandya has thrived as Gujarat Titans captain, says Ravi Shastri (Courtesy of BCCI/PTI)
- Ravi Shastri lauded Hardik Pandya for his astute captaincy in IPL 2022
- Under Hardik, Gujarat Titans finished on top of the points table
- Hardik scored 413 runs and hit 4 half-centuries in the league stage
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri Hardik Pandya has accepted the responsibility of captaincy and has thrived in his role. Under Hardik, Gujarat Titans finished the league stages on the top of the points table and made it to Qualifier 1 where they take on Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Ravi Shastri said Hardik Pandya’s focus and composure impressed him and lauded the GT captain for coming up the batting order to lead the IPL newbies from the front.
“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. 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).
Ravi Shastri said Gujarat Titans would have nothing to lose when they take on Rajasthan Royals. The winner will go to the final but the loser will get another opportunity when they play the winner of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2.
“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 said.
Gujarat Titans were in sublime form before the playoffs and became the first team to reach the IPL 2022 playoffs. They won 10 of their 14 matches and ensured themselves of the No.1 rank on the points table.
Hardik Pandya has led Gujarat Titans from the front, scoring 413 runs and hitting 4 half-centuries. This is already his best run with the bat in an IPL season.