Former India player Mohammad Kaif has praised Hardik Pandya for his stunning captaincy in IPL 2022 and his planned knock in the Qualifier 1 encounter against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) as well. However, Pandya led the Gujarat Titans (GT) to a seven-wicket win in Tuesday’s (May 24) Qualifier 1 match against the Royals and sealed the place in the IPL 2022 final, which will take place on Sunday (May 29) in Ahmedabad.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Mohammad Kaif said, “The guy (Pandya) stands at mid-off and speaks to the bowler on every ball, so much coordination, so much talk, you can talk about the transparency or the role. We didn’t see a better captain than Hardik Pandya in this IPL, he did fantastic captaincy. He knows when to bat or bowl after winning the toss. They won eight of their first nine matches, they played badly after that, they came here after losing three of their last five matches. This was a pressure game for them but still said that these are new conditions, it is overcast, it had rained, so they will field first.”
However, many cricket experts opined on when the Gujarat Titans appointed Hardik Pandya as their captain. But Pandya has silenced his critics by leading the team to the IPL 2022 final as well. While speaking about his knock in Tuesday’s game, Mohammad Kaif applauded Hardik for allowing David Miller to set his eyes in the middle.
“The start Hardik Pandya gave, allowed Miller the time. Miller was taking his time but when he (Pandya) came, he started playing his shots. He was dealing in fours, didn’t hit a six but Miller got the relief that he can take his time. When he (Pandya) came, he had reached 22 runs off the 11 balls, it shows he has the form. He said that he will play at No. 4, he has decided his number. He looked in control overall and the way both of them finished, it was a fantastic partnership,” Mohammad Kaif concluded.