Since the start of IPL 2022, Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya has been in spectacular form with the bat. The all-rounder is now second on the season's run-scorers list, having scored 295 runs in six innings, including his third half-century of the season in the side's previous game against Kolkata Knight Riders.
After Shubman Gill was dismissed early against KKR, Pandya promoted himself to number three in the batting order. With a fast knock of 67 in 48 deliveries, the all-rounder not only stabilized the Gujarat innings but also guided them to a competitive score.
The Titans finally won by an 8-run margin, consolidating their top-of-the-table position with 12 points in seven games.
Hardik Pandya discussed his desire to bat at number three after the game, maintaining that it is his "ideal" position.
“No.3 was always my dream. In 2016, I played for Mumbai and they promoted me to no.3. I didn't have a good time. This time, I had to make sure that I had to kill it,” Pandya said in a conversation with GT's Director of Cricket Vikram Solanki.
Pandya also discussed his steady performance with the bat.
“About form, I've been batting well. I'm very happy that it is coming at the right time. My role changes when Shubman (Gill) gets out. If Shubman is there, I play a different role but when he gets out, I become the Shubman Gill of this team. So, it was just about making sure I play good cricketing shots, take less risks, and the run-rate is there. I'm enjoying my batting,” Pandya said about his knock against the Knight Riders.
Gujarat Titans will next face the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 27 and will hope for Hardik to be fully fit as he didn't take the field for the whole KKR batting innings.