Throughout the tournament, Pandya led Gujarat from the front, taking charge with the bat at number three or four, something he rarely got to do in his previous franchise Mumbai Indians.
Pandya was the anchor of Gujarat, who needed the bat before playing a stroke at the back end of the innings, scoring 487 runs in 15 innings at an average of 44.27 and a strike-rate of 131.26. Even with the ball, he occasionally proved to be a match-winner with his spell of 3/17 in the final at Ahmedabad’s home ground.
Mohammad Kaif was also at the Narendra Modi Stadium on the day of the final of IPL 2022 and he impressed upon seeing the captain. “I was on the field for the final in Ahmedabad. I saw him captaining live there. His field placement was excellent. He is also a good man manager because the way his players performed under pressure gave me good vibes all around. Told the story of the team.
“He is backing his players. He was standing at mid-off and talking to his players, especially the bowlers when he felt pressure to bowl in the death overs. If you ask me personally, So I was very impressed by his captaincy. There are a lot of teams that have been playing IPL since the first year (and) didn’t do what Hardik did: win the IPL title in the very first year as a captain,” Kaif said. Said in a virtual conversation organized by Sony Sports.
Will Kaif, who has represented India in 125 ODIs and 13 Tests, see Pandya as a promotion to India’s captaincy and a reward to prove his leadership credentials as captain of Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022 see as? He strongly feels the same way.
“When he captained, what I saw as a player was in Hardik Pandya, he has ticked the most boxes under captaincy. Because after winning the toss, given the circumstances, he (along with his decision making) got the spot. were -on. Sometimes he batted first, he chased down, gave a role to the batsmen as well as the bowlers. Also, his form was very important, he was batting on three, four; Power- Coming into play, apart from bowling a few overs, batted till the end.
“Hardik did a good job with the captaincy and if you look with Gujarat Titans, you can say they were not the strongest side after the auction. Some other franchises did a good job. But that’s about it. That’s how you play and perform on the field. That day. You want to pick the best eleven to win the series (against Ireland). Hardik can do that, he has done well for Gujarat.”
Although Pandya’s role in India’s T20I squad requires him to be a lower-order finisher along with a resurgent Dinesh Karthik, Kaif sees both as players who will win the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November. Will play an important role in the discovery of India. , In India’s 82-run win over South Africa in Rajkot, Pandya and Karthik shared a 33-ball 65-run partnership that proved decisive in the hosts’ victory.
“I have been saying that if you look at the top order, you have a lot of players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, (Shreyas) Iyer. But Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik to finish the game. Will play a major role as India needs finishers who can play with a high strike rate.
“So, I see these two repeating the same thing over and over again. Like they did in South Africa and the IPL, their form will be important against Ireland and when they play T20Is against England and then there They will play an important role if India has to win the World Cup,” Kaif said ahead of the T20I tour of Ireland, which will be aired on Sony Sports on June 26 and 28.
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