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“Strong contender to lead the Indian team”, Gavaskar impressed with Pandya’s captaincy

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Hardik Pandya | BCCI/IPLGujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya impressed one and all with his captaincy in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).

In their maiden IPL season, GT emerged as the most dominant side. They topped the league stage with 10 wins from 14 games and then defeated Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 1 and final to lift the coveted trophy.

Hardik led the side from the front throughout the campaign. The all-rounder earned the Player-of-the-Match award in the all-important final for his three wickets and 34 runs while he finished the tournament with 487 runs and eight scalps.

See Also: ‘Want to win the World Cup no matter what happens’, Hardik Pandya after IPL title win

Commenting on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar said the GT skipper has emerged as a strong contender to lead the Indian team in the near future

“Yes definitely. Not just my estimation, but everybody’s estimation (Hardik’s reputation as a leader has gone up). This was an aspect of his game which nobody had too much information about,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“When you have leadership qualities, it automatically opens the door for honours at the national level to be able to captain the Indian national team in the near future.

“So that’s exciting, there are 3-4 other names in the ring. I am not saying he is the next in line. But for the selection committee to have that option is fantastic,” he added.

In the final, GT restricted RR to a below-par 130/9 on the back of captain Hardik’s outstanding bowling figures of 3 for 17 in his four overs.

Chasing the target, GT got over the line with 11 balls to spare. Opener Shubman Gill top scored with 45* while Pandya and David Miller contributed 34 and 32* respectively.

“We all knew what he could do with the bat, what he could do with the ball, but there was just a little bit of a concern before the start of the season about whether he would be able to bowl his full quota of four overs. He has done that, he has shown that. That all-rounder aspect is done, and everybody is happy,” Gavaskar said.

“The way he has led the team, the way he has got them together, the way he has got them to gel together means he has got leadership qualities,” he further remarked.





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