Former Indian legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar feels there are a lot of similarities between Hardik Pandya’s first season as the IPL captain and Rohit Sharma as a leader for Mumbai Indians. Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to glory in 2013 after former captain Ricky Ponting decided to relinquish his captaincy duties.
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya has been leading Gujarat Titans from the front and the team is coming up with collective efforts. The Titans have won eight out of their nine matches and they are currently at the top of the points table in IPL 2022.
Meanwhile, it has been noticed that Hardik Pandya has played with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and he has done a fine job as a leader. Pandya has batted in the middle order and has played the role of the anchor for the team. The right-hander has scored 308 runs in eight matches at an average of 51.33 and he is currently the third-highest run-getter in the tournament.
Furthermore, Pandya has scalped four wickets but hasn’t bowled in the last couple of matches to manage his workload.
“What I see with Hardik is exactly what happened to Rohit Sharma when he first got the captaincy of Mumbai Indians midway through the season (in IPL 2013). Suddenly (we saw) Rohit Sharma from playing those lovely cameos of 40s, 50s, and 60s now staying right till the end and taking responsibility,” Gavaskar said speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports.
The Little Master added that Pandya is batting with more responsibility as a leader of the team and it is reflecting in his performances.
“His shot selections became much better (with his captaincy). Similarly, you can see that happening with Hardik, his shot selection is absolutely terrific. Of course, he’s an outstanding fielder and (that was the case with) Rohit Sharma, he was a brilliant fielder in the covers and close-in as well (in those days). So Pandya is showing those qualities too and that’s why Gujarat Titans are doing so well.”
On the other hand, former Indian spinner Piyush Chawla also lavished praise on Hardik Pandya for leading his team with aplomb in the ongoing season.
“The way Hardik has batted is commendable and he is taking a lot of responsibility. Earlier he used to bat at number 5 and 6 but now he’s batting at number 3 and 4 and so it’s good to see him do well. He’s looking in control, there are no signs of panic. He’s looking to bat deep, he knows that if he stays till the end then he can recover his strike rate if at all there is a dip in the middle stages. He’s looking very mature as a batter,” said Chawla.
GT will next face Punjab Kings at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai on Tuesday.