All-rounder Hardik Pandya has had a dream start to his captaincy stint for Gujarat with a title win on May 29. Pandya was released by his first Indian T20 League team, Mumbai ahead of the player retentions last November. He was then signed by Gujarat who was making its debut in the recently concluded season. He was the first signing of the team and was appointed as the skipper.
The all-rounder led the team, which was not considered the strongest of the sides on paper. Even the fans weren’t sure how he would do as he was struggling through his injuries ahead of the season. The likes of Wridhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tewatia, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Yash Dayal, Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, etc rising to the occasion made it a little easy for the team.
Also, their skipper led from the front with the bat and the ball. The team finished first in the points table after the league stage thanks to their 10 wins in 14 games. The Blue Brigade went on to dismiss Rajasthan in Qualifier 1 and reach the final which was supposed to be played in front of their home ground. The Ahmedabad-based team beat the same team in the final by seven wickets to lift their maiden title in their debut season.
After the game, former cricketer Rajat Bhatia said that Pandya was cool and calm during the pressure situation which wasn’t the case with Virat Kohli when he captained Bangalore.
“Whenever you judge someone’s captaincy skills, you look at how they are reacting in pressure situations. I rarely saw Pandya getting angry or disappointed in such situations. Barring that one incident with Shami, Pandya was cool and calm throughout.
This thing was missing in Virat Kohli’s captaincy. He could not control his emotions in tough situations. And that is the one thing I liked in Hardik Pandya. H was clear in his thought process which made things easier for him,” said Bhatia on SportsTiger LIVE on YouTube.