Hardik Pandya, the Indian all-rounder, and Gujarat Titans (GT) captain enjoyed the best times recently as he led the franchise to the IPL 2022 title, and made a brilliant comeback as an all-rounder.
Pandya has been terrific with the bat, amassing 487 runs at 44.27 and a strike rate of 131.26, as well as taking 8 wickets at an economy rate of 7.27 in the IPL 2022.
However, he did not bowl much in the second half of the season but returned with his career-best figures of 3/17 in the IPL 2022 final on May 29 in Ahmedabad to help GT restrict Rajasthan Royals (RR) to just 130/9.
The target GT chased down in 18.1 overs with seven wickets in hand to clinch the IPL trophy in their very first season in the tournament. Pandya contributed 34 runs as well and was named the Player of the Final for his efforts.
Given his brilliant performance as an all-rounder, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said that it is a really good sign that Pandya has returned to bowling, but warned the national selectors against taking any laxity in managing his workload.
Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports: “The selection committee will be delighted with the way he has come through. Everyone had seen him batting but nobody had seen him bowl. Now he is coming and bowling four overs sometimes or three overs on the trot which shows that he is 100 percent fit.
But yes he has got to be managed well. When you have a back injury as serious as that where you have surgery, you got to be managed. But the fact that he is coming and bowling at over 140, means he was letting it rip.”
Hailing Hardik for his shot selection, the legendary batter has compared the all-rounder with India captain Rohit Sharma. He said, “Also the shot selection he showed as a batter. He wasn't throwing his bat at just about everything. It was absolutely terrific.”
Gavaskar signed off by saying, “In this game, you tend to look for six and get out but generally with captaincy, just like it did with Rohit Sharma, the short selection became better. Rohit, too like Hardik was brilliant, but the moment he got the captaincy, he started scoring 70, 80, 100s as well.”