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Cricket experts laud Hardik Pandya's captaincy after Gujarat Titans storm into IPL playoffs IPL 2022
Image Credit: Twitter/IPL

Cricket experts laud Hardik Pandya's captaincy after Gujarat Titans storm into IPL playoffs

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 11 May 2022, 02:41 pm

Cricket experts have heaped praises on the captaincy of Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya after Gujarat Titans stormed into the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs outplaying Lucknow Super Giants Tuesday.

With 9 wins and 18 points in their kitty so far, Gujarat are placed comfortably at the top of the points table in the IPL 2022 and they also look favourites to finish in the top two.

Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden reckons Pandya is showing all the qualities of a good leader in the ongoing tournament as he keeps performing well against big teams.

Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Matthew Hayden said, "Good cricketers, good leaders in particular keep their best for the best of times and that's Hardik Pandya (for you) right now. He's performing well in all departments. I love his energy and the enthusiasm that he brings to the table."

Pandya has returned to the cricket pitch after recovering from an injury but he's showing no signs of fatigue or inhibitions.

The Baroda all-rounder has amassed 344 runs in 11 games at an impressive strike rate of 131.80.

He has notched up three half-centuries in the most exciting IPL season and is leading by example in all three departments.

Former Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar lauded the Indian cricketer's all-round skills and the discipline he's showing in the ongoing tournament.

Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Gavaskar said, "Hat's off to the hard work he's been putting in. He didn't play a lot of cricket before the IPL because he was recovering from an injury. (Now) Look at the discipline he's showing in his batting. He's batting well in the powerplay and making full use of the field restrictions, he's doing exceedingly well in the field and getting better with every game."

Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh - who has shared the dressing room with Hardik during his stint with Mumbai Indians - believes a player like Pandya requires a breathing space and he's getting that freedom from Gujarat Titans think tank.

Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Singh said, "A player like Hardik should have the freedom to work on his game, and he’s getting that at Gujarat Titans. For me, he is the best captain in this season so far.

"He is taking responsibility. Now he is bowling his full quota of four overs. He is leading the team from the front and has made a habit of scoring consistently with his bat. He always looks to motivate his teammates."

Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif – who has plied his trade both as a player, as well as a coach, in the IPL – claimed Pandya is relishing the responsibility and that is why his game is looking more balanced.

Kaif said on Cricket Live on Star Sports, "Hardik is now a changed player. As a captain, he is taking the responsibility of leading the team's middle-order seriously, and scoring heavily.

"You can see, he is not getting overly aggressive this season, which is a major shift in his batting approach from the previous seasons."