Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar states Gujarat Titans’ skipper Hardik Pandya reminds him of Rohit Sharma when he was first made the captain of Mumbai Indians.
IPL newbies Gujarat Titans have emerged as a force to reckon with in the most exciting season of IPL and skipper Hardik Pandya has led the team from the front.
Gavaskar reckons the role of captaincy is doing the same thing to Hardik as it did to Rohit back in 2013 when the Mumbaikar was appointed the captain. The responsibility transformed Rohit into a much-improved batter and also a leader and Hardik is showing similar signs.
Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Gavaskar said, “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. 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.”
Former Indian spinner Piyush Chawla praised Hardik for batting with maturity in the top-order as he’s looking to take his game deep and even finishing matches for his team.
Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Chawla said, “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.”
Former Indian batter Mohammad Kaif opined it is wrong to call Hardik Pandya a slogger because the Baroda all-rounder has sound batting technique and possesses all the shots in his armoury.
Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Kaif said, “He’s not a slogger at all. He has a strong base and a good batting technique. He plays brilliant cover drives and pull shots. He’s equally good against the spinners and plays grounded at ease and hits all around the ground. These are signs of a good batter, not a slogger, his basics are clear.”