Gujarat Titans Take Gamble With Hardik Pandya And It Paid Off For Them: Sanjay Manjrekar

Hardik Pandya on Sunday will be leading India for the first time against Ireland in the first T20I. His journey in the last 4 months has been extraordinary, to say the least.

From being out of the Indian side to winning the IPL with a new team as captain and then being promoted to lead India, Hardik has grown individually a lot.

Sanjay Manjrekar, former India cricketer too has been very impressed with the all-rounder. In a recent interview with NDTV, he talked about what Pandya brings to the table.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: IPL)

Hardik Pandya Looks Very Relaxed As A Captain: Sanjay Manjrekar

When asked about Pandya’s performance as captain in IPL, Manjrekar said, “I was actually amazed by the performance of Hardik Pandya- the captain and the all-rounder as well. Before the IPL if you remember, the couple of years that he had with Mumbai Indians, there was the fitness issue, he wasn’t bowling at all for Mumbai Indians; his batting was a bit scratchy, hardly played any international cricket.

“So it was a huge gamble for Gujarat Titans to have him as one of the marquee players, plus given the captaincy. He had no track record as captain. But that gamble paid off massively. The fact that he looked like he was enjoying captaincy, he was so happy and relaxed. 

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: IPL)

When asked about what Hardik Pandya brings to the table when he is fully fit, Manjrekar opined, “I think that question mark will always remain about his bowling. In the last game, for India, he didn’t bowl at all, they bowled him a little in the early part of the series against South Africa.

“So that aspect of Hardik Pandya is always going to be a bit of a question mark and overall fitness as well. But, you know, when he’s in full flow like he was in the IPL, you can see a lot packed into this guy as a batter. And then when he bowls, his four overs, it measures up because he’s got a way of assessing the pitch and the batter as well.

Hardik Pandya. Photo-IPL
Hardik Pandya. Photo-IPL

“So when he’s in full fitness, he is good enough to be the best bowler in the side as well. Just imagine somebody like Hardik Pandya, if fully fit is your go-to bowler.

“While the others were going to the cleaners he showed you on the occasion that he was able to curb the runs and get to the wickets as well, plus the kind of batting talent that he has. So then when you have the whole package, then you just you’re sort of staggered by how much value this guy can add.”

Hardik would be looking to impress the Indian selectors with his captaincy.

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