Sunil Gavaskar has praised Hardik Pandya after Gujarat Titans won the IPL title in their maiden season under his leadership saying that his shot selection improved with the captaincy. Gavaskar also added that Pandya has to be managed well as he had back surgery before the start of IPL.
Gujarat Titans won their debut season beating Rajasthan Royals in the final on Sunday. Hardik Pandya captained the team and they won the trophy courtesy of his brilliant leadership. Along with captaincy, it was also an impressive season for him as an all-rounder. Hardik smacked 487 runs in the tournament at 44.27 and a strike rate of 131.26. He also scalped eight wickets in the tournament at an economy rate of 7.27. His best performance came in the final as he scored 30 runs and picked three wickets against RR.
Gavaskar praised Hardik saying that his shot selection improved with the responsibility of captaincy just like Rohit Sharma.
“Also the shot selection he showed as a batter. He wasn't throwing his bat at just about everything. It was absolutely terrific. In this game you tend to look for six and get out but generally with captaincy, just like it did with Rohit Sharma, the short selection became better. Rohit, too like Hardik was brilliant, but the moment he got the captaincy, he started scoring 70, 80, 100s as well,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
Hardik was away from the game for a long time before the start of IPL 2022 as he suffered a back injury and went under the knife for the same. Also, the injury meant that there were doubts about his bowling. However, with his performance in the tournament, he got selected for the South Africa series. Gavaskar stated that it looks like Hardik is 100 percent fit but he has to be managed well.
“The selection committee will be delighted with the way he has come through. Everyone had seen him batting but nobody had seen him bowl. Now he is coming and bowling four overs sometimes or three overs on the trot which shows that he is 100 per cent fit. But yes he has got to be managed well. When you have a back injury as serious as that where you have a surgery, you got to be managed. But the fact that he is coming and bowling at over 140, which means he was letting it rip,” he explained.
Hardik will bow feature in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa.