Hardik Pandya led from the front as Gujarat Titans defeated Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets at Eden Gardens on Tuesday to secure a berth in the IPL 2022 final. The GT skipper hit an unbeaten 40 and was involved in an unbeaten 106-run tie for the fourth wicket with man-of-the-match David Miller (68 not out).
Hardik Pandya said he had no feelings after Gujarat Titans reached the finals in their first season. Hardik, who won four titles with Mumbai Indians, has yet to lose a final.
“I have started to balance things in my life … this has been a constant effort over the years. In the end my family, my son, my wife and also my brother have played a big part. They more or less let me I’m more neutral in life. I’m looking forward to going home and spending some time with family, which has made me a better cricketer too,” Hardik Pandya told Star Sports. “Don’t have many feelings right now. I’ll try to be neutral again.’
Hardik Pandya said Gujarat Titans have different players who bring different values to the team and said it was important to have good people in the mix.
“All 23 players have different characters, bring different things to the table. I also said to Miller, if you have good people around you, you get good things. It’s been that story for us. The kind of people we have, the real people we have..
“I can really see that even the players in the dugout are trying and praying for them to make sure they do well. That’s a fantastic thing and that’s why we’ve reached where we’ve reached.
“It’s all about making sure we respect this game. Rash has been fantastic all season and his cricket journey. But I’m proud of Miller – the way we played. Wherever my team needs me to play “I don’t generally ask where I want to hit. That’s not how I succeed,” he said.
Hardik Pandya has had his best season with the bat in IPL 2022. On Tuesday, he set the tone for Gujarat Titans with a quick start, but then stepped back as David Miller crushed the Rajasthan Royals attack and Prasidh Krishna in for three sixes passed the finals to take a huge win.
Hardik Pandya has now scored 453 runs from 14 matches with an average of 45.30. As a GT captain, he has promoted himself in the rankings and has taken on the responsibility of scoring crucial runs for his team. Hardik’s approach even impressed former India coach Ravi Shastri, who said the GT captain thrives on his responsibility.
“Hardik was most impressive as a leader, but what I liked most about him was his focus and composure. He had his eye on the ball from the start,” Ravi Shastri told Star Sports. “He thrived on that responsibility of being captain – he had said there that for his home state it was where he was born and where he was raised. It was that extra pressure and he thrived on it. He accepted that responsibility by coming forward. “He came to order because he knew he might not be bowling in all games. So to stay relevant, to stay at the front as a leader, he had to move up that one or two positions.”
Gujarat Titans now await to see which of the Lucknow Super Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals will meet them in the title fight in Ahmedabad on May 29.