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“I never tried to convince Hardik Pandya to stay back,” says Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra
By SMCS - Mar 17, 2024 10:45 am
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Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra has added that he never tried to convince the franchise’s former IPL-winning captain Hardik Pandya to stay back when the player wanted a move away from the team as well. However, Hardik had a successful two-year stint with the team and he guided them to their maiden IPL title win in his first-ever season as a captain in 2022 followed by a runner-up finish last year as well.

Hardik Pandya

However, his return to the Mumbai Indians ahead of this season has become the talk of the town. Recently, Ashish Nehra has opened up about it to the Press Trust of India (PTI), saying: “I never tried to convince Hardik Pandya to stay back. I could have stopped him had he been going to some other team. [But] he played for that team for five or six years.”And the way this game has been going along, people say that it is heading in the direction of soccer or basketball. So we will end up seeing those trades [in cricket too]. Yes, GT will miss Hardik Pandya. Best wishes [to him] from our side.”

Meanwhile, Shubman Gill finished IPL 2023 as the season’s highest run-scorer, having scored 890 runs in 17 matches as well. He has also replaced Hardik Pandya as the new captain of Gujarat Titans before this edition as well. While talking about this, former Indian international Ashish Nehra added that the whole franchise is ready to assist Gill in his new role as well.

“I am very excited to see how Gill operates. In fact, the whole of India, not only me. He is that kind of player. He is someone who is looking to play and looking to do well in all three formats.”So we as a franchise, as a support staff, are really excited to help him grow as a person more than as a captain. If he grows as a person, then he will definitely be a better captain going forward. And you know, Hardik also did not captain anywhere before he captained GT,” the Head Coach also stated.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill scored a brilliant knock

Apart from Hardik Pandya, the franchise will not get the service of Indian pacer Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out of this
year’s IPL due to a heel injury as well. Shami was the highest wicket-taker of the 2023 IPL with 28 scalps to his name in the 17 matches as well.

“You can’t buy experience to replace Hardik, Shami, it’s not going to be easy. But there’s the learning curve. Every year, new guys come and they step in and that’s how teams move forward. You are talking about Hardik Pandya and Shami – to fill those shoes is not easy. But like I said, we have enough people, Umesh Yadav, again a guy who has been playing IPL [for] 10-12 years. So every year, you will see new guys and you have to believe in yourself and prepare for that,” Ashish Nehra concluded.