Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has applauded the captaincy of the all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who made his debut as captain in the ongoing IPL edition with the Gujarat Titans. However, Shastri has stated that Hardik Pandya’s success as the captain didn’t surprise him as his understanding of the game is excellent.
However, Pandya has been impressive as a captain. The all-rounder has led the Gujarat Titans to eight wins in 11 matches, and they are ensuring a top-two finish as well. While speaking on ESPNCricinfo’s Timeout, Ravi Shastri said that Pandya has impressed him a lot.
He added, “Definitely Hardik Pandya because he hadn’t done it before. But everyone knew his reading and understanding of the game is strong. KL Rahul had already led India in One-day cricket; hence, there were expectations he would do a decent job. Hardik might have surprised a lot of people, but he didn’t surprise me because I know his mindset and his understanding of white-ball cricket, especially, it’s very good.”
Ravi Shastri again shared: “I would say right from the start and that’s why he has been fast-tracked. If we see, he didn’t take much time to settle into the Indian team. Hardik showed it straightaway that he belongs at the top level, which is commendable.”
Hardik Pandya has been performing well with the bat and ball, scoring 333 runs in ten matches so far which came at an average of 41.62 with three half-centuries as well. With the ball, he has claimed nine wickets at 20.66, keeping an economy rate of 6.64 as well. Ravi Shastri also stated that they are too dependent on Hardik Pandya as well.
“I think it’s their batting as they’re too dependent on Hardik Pandya. They have been in trouble when Pandya didn’t click with the bat. It will be better if the top-order can chip in with more runs. Saha is playing exceptionally well and he is doing his job. If he gets more support, it will be better,” Ravi Shastri concluded.