the former India Head coach Ravi Shastri feels that the additional captaincy of Gujarat Titans has helped Hardik Pandya grow as a cricketer. The 28-year-old won the 2021 T20 . took a short sabbatical from cricket to work on his fitness after World cup and he returned to competitive cricket in IPL 2022, where he was made the captain of the new franchise Gujarat Titans. The flamboyant all-rounder led Gujarat to victory in their first season.
Shastri, who worked with Pandya during his stint as the head coach of Team India, said the all-rounder was in shock after Mumbai Indians did not retain him before the auction.
“It shocked him when Mumbai Indians didn’t retain him,” Shastri said on commentary during the India vs England second ODI at Lord’s.
Hardik started his journey with Mumbai Indians in 2015 and won four Indian Premier League titles with them. He enjoyed great success both with and with the ball, the five-time champion which paved the way for his inclusion in the Indian team.
However, Mumbai decided to retain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard ahead of the auction. After being turned down by MI, Hardik signed for Gujarat Titans and was made the captain of the team directly.
“It was tough… MI had Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharna, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, so they had to pick three out of those five. Ishaan Kishan was obviously selected in the auction,” said Shastri.
Shastri further said that the added responsibility helped Pandya as a player as he performed extremely well as a captain in his debut season.
“He was picked up by Gujarat Titans, where he was given the additional responsibility of captaincy, giving him a world of good. When given the responsibility, he is a completely different cricket as opposed to just batting and fielding,” he said.
The 28-year-old took the responsibility on his shoulders and propelled himself up the batting order at No. 3 and 4 to provide balance to the line-up. He scored 487 runs in 15 matches at an impressive average of 487. He also regained bowling fitness and took eight wickets in the title-winning campaign.