Hardik Pandya will be motivated to show what he is capable of as a leader: Gary Kirsten

Ahmedabad has signed Hardik Pandya as captain for IPL 2022.

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Gary Kirsten. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images for The Hundred)

After building his reputation as the power-hitter and a brilliant all-rounder in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2015, Hardik Pandya will be leading a team for the first time in the upcoming season. After Mumbai Indians (MI) didn’t retain him, the Ahmedabad franchise has signed the younger Pandya for Rs 15 crore and has also named him the captain.

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Gary Kirsten who will be working as Ahmedabad’s mentor-cum-batting coach explained why did the franchise go for the all-rounder as their skipper. Hardik Pandya is currently recovering from his ever present back injury which troubled him over the last two IPL seasons. He didn’t bowl much during the T20 World Cup as well and hasn’t played for India since then.

But Kirsten has stated that the 28-year-old will be motivated to perform as the captain. He is also excited to work with Hardik who has played 92 matches in the IPL so far in his career. “He’s a young, new captain and he’ll be motivated to come in, make a play and show what he’s capable of at this level as a leader. He’s a great leader, a high performer, and he’s really motivated.

“What I’ve heard is that he is keen to get in the mix. What I’ve heard, he’s raring to go and get in the mix from a leadership perspective. That’s very exciting for us to have a player with such a level of skill, motivated to do well,” Kirsten said while speaking to Star Sports.

Kirsten will be working for the first time with Rashid Khan

Ahmedabad franchise has also shelled out Rs 15 crore to secure Rashid Khan‘s services and Gary Kirsten is looking forward to work with the leg-spinner for the first time. Speaking about him, Kirsten lauded the Afghanistan cricketer for the value he brings to the table.

“Rashid has proven his value all around the world. I haven’t yet worked with him, but I’ve met him a few times. Watching him on the field, he is a competitive young man and wants to do well for the franchises he plays in,” the former South Africa cricketer added.

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