Premier India pacer Mohammed Shami heaped huge praise on his Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya’s leadership qualities. It is the first time when Pandya got a chance to lead an IPL franchise and he has excelled by leading his team to the IPL 2022 playoffs in their debut season. The flamboyant all-rounder made his IPL debut in 2015 for Mumbai Indians and he represented the side till last season, but he didn’t get a chance to lead them there.
Gujarat signed Pandya ahead of the auction and named him the captain of their side for the debut season. The 28-year-old led the team from the front and promote himself up in the batting line-up to stabilize the middle order. He also regained his bowling fitness to help his team as the sixth bowling option.
Shami, who played under Pandya’s leadership for the first time, said that the 28-year-old has become performed the captaincy role to perfection.
“After he (Hardik) became captain, he has become more normal, his reactions have been tempered (mellowed). I have advised him to control his emotions on the field because the entire world watches cricket. It is very important as a leader to be sensible, and understand situations and he has performed that role to perfection,” Shami told reporters after the win against CSK.
The Gujarat Titans pacer further said that he has witnessed a lot of changes in Pandya after he became the captain of the side.
“He (Hardik Pandya) has kept the team together. I have witnessed a lot of changes in him as a captain in comparison to a player. Every captain has a different temperament. Mahi (Dhoni) bhai was quiet, Virat was aggressive, Rohit leads according to match situations, so understanding Hardik’s mindset is not a rocket science,” he added.
Hardik, who is leading an IPL franchise for the first this year, has been phenomenal in the new role so far. Gujarat have managed to qualify for the playoffs and the win over CSK has ensured a top 2 spot for them.
The 28-year-old assessed his own captaincy after his team’s victory over Chennai on Sunday as he said that his past experience of playing in Mumbai Indians has helped him in the captaincy.
“You put me on a spot. Yes, I would say I did pretty alright because having played in a previous franchise where a lot of responsibility was given to us as well and the kind of cricketer I am, I have always enjoyed responsibility where it kind of gives me ownership of things where I can control. And I feel where I have batted throughout my career has given me a lot of idea about how the game is going, which kind of bowler will be important in certain situations. Playing for a different franchise and doing what I have done in the past has helped me in my captaincy,” Hardik said in the post-match presentation.