Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Image Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: May 29th, 2022 at 04:00 pm

Former Pakistan player Shoaib Akhtar said Hardik Pandya is emerging as a potential candidate to succeed Rohit Sharma in the line as an Indian skipper.

Hardik has taken Gujarat Titans to the final of IPL 2022 in their maiden season and needs to sweep one match en route to clinching the title.

Gujarat Titans cemented their spot in the IPL 2022 final with the seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 1. David Miller blasted with his fireworks in the final over to take RR past the finishing line.

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

Miller smashed Prasidh Krishna for three successive sixes as Gujarat Titans needed 16 runs in the final six deliveries. Miller was involved in an unseparated 106-run stand with Hardik, who hit 40 in 27 balls.

Hardik Pandya has proved his point as a leader: Shoaib Akhtar

Hardik has earned plaudits for leadership skills as the Baroda-born cricketer is leading any team for the first time at the competitive level.

Akhtar is of the opinion that Hardik is pushing his case for India’s next captain after Rohit Sharma.

It is the fact that Hardik Pandya is leaving a mark. He is knocking on the door of Indian captaincy. One is not sure how long Rohit Sharma will continue as captain,” Akhtar told Sportskeeda.

Rohit Sharma Shoaib Akhtar
Rohit Sharma and Shoaib Akhtar. Image: Twitter

It’s never easy to captain the Indian cricket team. Hardik has proved his point (as a leader) but he still needs to focus on his fitness and bowling. When he was fit as an all-rounder, he was an automatic choice in the Indian team. As a pure batter, though, there is no vacancy in the Indian team,” he added.

Rashid Khan has complemented Hardik Pandya very well: Shoaib Akhtar

Gujarat Titans vice-captain Rashid Khan has played some important cameos in the lower-middle order with the bat and scalped 18 wickets at an average of 22.39 and economy rate of 6.74.

Rashid also led Gujarat Titans in the first leg against CSK, where Hardik was absent. He slammed Chris Jordan 23 runs in five balls to inch the Titans toward the finishing line.

Akhtar appreciated Rashid’s all-round efforts and called him an asset for Gujarat Titans.

Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan
Hardik Pandya and Rashid-Khan (Image Credits: Twitter)

Rashid Khan has complemented Hardik very well. He has done the job with both bat and ball. He is a wonderful character and an asset for the team,” Akhtar said.

Gujarat Titans will face Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2022 final on Sunday (May 29) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Also Read: IPL 2022: Hardik Pandya Can Lead Indian Team – Sanjay Manjrekar