Hardik Pandya’s rapid rise as a captain in the Indian Premier League has impressed everyone – be it fans or former players. And, former India captain, Sunil Gavaskar is not an exception too. However, the batting great on Monday, May 30, said that Hardik’s leadership is an aspect of his game that has left everyone surprised. Notably, Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans to their maiden Indian Premier League title in their debut season as well. The Titans comfortably beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in the IPL 2022 final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, May 29.
Hardik Pandya claimed 3 wickets for just 17 runs and hit a crucial 34 as Gujarat chased down a below-par target of 131 with 11 balls in hand as well. However, Questions were asked when he was named captain.
“Yes definitely. Not just my estimation, but everybody’s estimation (Hardik’s reputation as a leader has gone up). This was an aspect of his game which nobody had too much information about,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports. “We all knew what he could do with the bat, what he could do with the ball, but there was just a little bit of a concern before the start of the season about whether he would be able to bowl his full quota of 4 overs. He has done that, he has shown that. That all-rounder aspect is done, and everybody is happy.”
“But this now, the way he has led the team, the way he has got them together, the way he has got them to gel together means he has got leadership qualities. When you have leadership qualities, it automatically opens the door for honours at the national level to be able to captain the Indian national team in the near future. So that’s exciting, there are 3-4 other names in the ring. I am not saying he is the next in line. But for the selection committee to have that option is fantastic,” he further added.
Hardik Pandya, however, finished the IPL 2022 campaign with a whopping 487 runs and 8 wickets as he won his maiden IPL trophy as captain and as a player, this is his 5th trophy as he had a successful stint with Mumbai Indians. However, Hardik has earned his place back in the Indian limited-overs side as he has been added to the 18-man squad, led by KL Rahul, for the upcoming 5-match T20I series against South Africa in June.