After leading Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League (IPL) title in their maiden season, Hardik Pandya expressed his desire to lift the T20 World Cup trophy later this year in Australia.
Pandya led from the front as GT thrashed Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets to clinch the IPL 2022 title in Ahmedabad on Sunday (May 29).
Asked to bowl first, 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.
In reply, GT got over the line in 18.1 overs. Opener Shubman Gill top scored with 45* while Pandya and David Miller contributed 34 and 32* respectively.
After the game, Hardik Pandya was asked about his next goal and the 28-year-old replied: "Absolutely to win the World Cup for India no matter what happens.”
"I am going to give it everything I have. Always been that kind of guy to put the team first. For me the goal will be simple: to make sure my team gets it the most.
"It has always been a pleasure for me to represent the country ... Long term, short term, I want to win the World Cup no matter what happens."
Hardik Pandya has garnered praise from the cricket pundits for his composed leadership and stellar all-round showing in the IPL 15 season. He finished the tournament with 487 runs and eight wickets.
"Obviously this will be a little special because I have won it as a captain," said Pandya. "I consider myself very lucky that I have played five finals, and have lifted the trophy five times.
"Obviously this will leave a legacy because we are a new franchise, playing for the first time, and we are champions in the first season."
(With Reuters inputs)