Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya assessed his own captaincy after an emphatic 7-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings on Sunday at Wankhede Stadium. The flamboyant all-rounder feels that playing for Mumbai Indians has helped him in the captaincy as he was given a lot of responsibility there which helped him develop as a leader. 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 said that he has always enjoyed responsibility as it helped him to control the game.
“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.
Talking about his camaraderie with head coach Ashish Nehra, the GT skipper said he connects well with the former India pacer which is working well for the team.
“Ashish Nehra and me are very similar in terms of mindsets. Our game sense… the best thing is without saying I kind of connect with him,” he added.
Hardik said the team’s primary aim was to collect 2 points against CSK as they were not thinking about the NRR much.
“We kind of won comfortably having seven wickets in hand and you don’t get extra points for finishing the game in the 15th or 16th over. So for us as a team we like to finish the game no matter when we finish,” he said.
The skipper said the team wants to keep up the winning momentum but they will give rest to the players if they want to be fresh for the playoffs stage.
“Today it was hot so I wanted to take a breather as well (smiles), have some water, have some protein in the body and go back again. We will see if any players need a game off to be fresh for the playoffs, otherwise, for us it is important to keep the momentum,” he added.
Hardik asserted that he wants the core players to get enough match practise before the playoffs but changes will be made if fast bowlers need some rest.
“Obviously we want to give opportunities to new players, but we also want to ensure the core group playing throughout the season is intact and getting the match practice they require before the playoffs. Yes we might change here and there, fast bowlers if needed, but otherwise, we will be similar,” he concluded.