Tuesday 24 May 2022
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Gavaskar: What I see with Hardik is what had happened to Rohit

Cricket legend and commentator Sunil Gavaskar says the role of captaincy is doing to Hardik Pandya what it had done to Rohit Sharma in 2013

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Hardik Pandya’s first season as captain in the Indian Premier League reminds the legendary Sunil Gavaskar of India skipper Rohit Sharma when he was first made the captain of back in 2013. Pandya has impressed one and all not only with his batting but also with his captaincy for debutants Gujarat Titans.

Gavaskar reckons the role of captaincy is doing the same thing to Hardik as it did to Rohit in 2013. The responsibility transformed Rohit into a much-improved batter and also a and Hardik is showing similar signs.

“What I see with Hardik is exactly what happened to Rohit Sharma when he first got the captaincy of midway through the season (in IPL 2013). Suddenly (we saw) Rohit Sharma from playing those lovely cameos of 40s, 50s, and 60s now staying right till the end and taking responsibility,” Gavaskar said speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports.

The former India captain was particularly impressed with Hardik’s shot selection. The right-hander has been batting at number 3 and four for GT this season and has found a lot of success.

“His shot selections became much better (with his captaincy). Similarly, you can see that happening with Hardik, his shot selection is absolutely terrific. Of course, he’s an outstanding fielder and (that was the case with) Rohit Sharma, he was a brilliant fielder in the covers and close-in as well (in those days). So Pandya is showing those qualities too and that’s why Gujarat Titans are doing so well.”

Pandya’s performance has been one of the main reasons why GT are at the top of the table.

Former Indian spinner Piyush Chawla praised Hardik for batting with maturity in the top-order as he’s looking to take his game deep and even finish matches for his team.

“The way Hardik has batted is commendable and he is taking a lot of responsibility. Earlier he used to bat at number 5 and 6 but now he’s batting at number 3 and 4 and so it’s good to see him do well. He’s looking in control, there are no signs of panic. He’s looking to bat deep, he knows that if he stays till the end then he can recover his strike rate if at all there is a dip in the middle stages. He’s looking very mature as a batter,” said Chawla.

Former Indian batter Mohammad Kaif opined it is wrong to call Hardik Pandya a slogger because the Baroda all-rounder has sound batting technique and possesses all the shots in his armoury.

“He’s not a slogger at all. He has a strong base and a good batting technique. He plays brilliant cover drives and pull shots. He’s equally good against the spinners and plays grounded at ease and hits all around the ground. These are signs of a good batter, not a slogger, his basics are clear,” Kaif said.

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