Hardik Pandya has played with great maturity, he has absolutely thrived in captaincy role: Gary Kirsten

Gujarat Titans are placed on top of the points table with 10 points.

Hardik Pandya and Gary Kirsten
Hardik Pandya and Gary Kirsten. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Gujarat Titans (GT) batting coach Gary Kirsten has praised skipper Hardik Pandya for his skills and ability to understand, perceive and play the game. Incidentally, Hardik was drafted by the new team during the pre-draft ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction earlier this year. He was later announced as the captain of the side.

The 28-year-old all-rounder from Baroda returned to action after a long injury haul and was handed the responsibility to lead the new team. With this season of the IPL, Hardik also made a comeback as an all-rounder in the team and has been doing exceptionally well with both bat and the ball. Kirsten opened up about the rejuvenated Hardik Pandya and revealed how he perceives the game and his role as an all-rounder.

“We’ve had a number of conversations, but, you know, the coaching conversations are mostly not about me giving him directions. It is more about me helping him understand what he wants to achieve with his batting. He has got some good clarity in that space. He realised that he’s going to play a very different role in this team as a batsman, compared to what he has done in his previous franchise,” Kirsten told the Indian Express.

‘He’s class’ – Gary Kirsten on Hardik Pandya as an all-round player

The former India head coach also heaped praises on Pandya after spending about a month with him at the Gujarat Titans camp and talked about his passion and dedication towards the team and the game. Incidentally, this is the first time Hardik Pandya is captaining any side in the IPL. He has done remarkably well so far, winning four out of the five games.

“He has absolutely thrived in that new role. I mean, he’s class. He’s a fantastic batter, he can play in a lot of different ways. He’s not one dimensional in his ball striking. He can rotate the strike and he can get the ball to the boundary. Those kinds of batters are very dangerous. They can do different things on a field. I think he’s played with great maturity and he has handled the pressure situations really well when he walked into bat with two down quickly. So, I have been nothing but impressed with that journey,” Kirsten added.

Pandya had to sit out against Chennai Super Kings due to an injury. Stand-in captain Rashid Khan led the side to their fifth win of IPL 2022. However, Hardik is expected to be back in their next encounter against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) scheduled on April 23.