Veteran pacer Mohammad Shami feels the responsibility of captaincy has brought calmness to Hardik Pandya, who was a fiery individual otherwise.
Under Hardik’s leadership, Gujarat Titans (GT) have become the first franchise to qualify for the IPL 2022 playoffs.
According to Shami, flamboyant Pandya keeping his emotions under check has been a key factor in GT’s success in their maiden IPL season.
“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,” Shami told reporters on Friday (May 13).
“It is very important as a leader to be sensible, understand situations and he has performed that role to perfection,” he added.
Further praising Hardik for his captaincy, the fast bowler said: “He has kept the team together. I have witnessed a lot of changes in him as a captain in comparison to a player.”
Having played under MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the Indian team and multiple captains in different IPL sides, Shami understands that everyone has his unique style.
“Every captain has 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.”
Mohammad Shami is the leading wicket-taker for GT in the IPL 2022 so far with 16 scalps from 12 matches.
“As far as my performance is concerned, whenever I was given the white ball, I always tried to put in my 100 per cent. Not just this season, if you look at the last four seasons then you can see nobody (in teams that he played) took more wickets than me,” he said.
“Whenever I am entrusted with responsibility I have always tried to live up to that. I have always tried to perform my role to the 100 per cent of my capability.”
Talking GT’s success mantra in their debut IPL season, Shami said: “We have made a good bonding in the team from the start. In every match we played as a group. We have put on combined performance. We have worked as a team in the tournament. Everyone contributed a little bit and hope this continues.”
He also praised head coach Ashish Nehra for being a binding force in the GT unit.
“As a coach you need to be chill, it is important to deal the team as a family, there are plenty of responsibilities and he (Nehra) has done a remarkable job,” Shami said.
Gujarat Titans will take on Chennai Super Kings in their penultimate league match on Sunday (May 15).
(With PTI inputs)