MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, IPL 2023 final,
MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya (Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: March 31st, 2023 at 02:37 pm

Former Indian cricketer and head coach Anil Kumble praised Gujarat Titans all-rounder Hardik Pandya ahead of a match against Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League in 2021. Kumble compared Pandya’s ability to read the game to that of great Indian skipper MS Dhoni.

The Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings match will take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

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Hardik Pandya, an all-arounder, and Ashish Nehra, a former India pacer, paired up as captain and head coach for the first time last season when they joined Gujarat Titans, a new franchise. Pandya and Nehra hit it off right away, and their friendship helped them qualify for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in their debut season.

Anil Kumble, a JioCinema expert, praised Hardik Pandya for his incredible versatility as a player and captain, saying, “He reads the game well, just like MS Dhoni. You can see that in the way he bats and bowls, and also manages his bowling resources.

“For a fast bowler to be bowling at that pace and then coming in and batting in whichever situation, we have seen that with Mumbai Indians, he did the finisher’s role but last year we saw a different Hardik Pandya, the captain play a different role for Gujarat. In that sense, he’s the complete package you’d expect from a player.”

“Hardik Pandya is the ideal impact player”- Zaheer Khan

Hardik Pandya, the Gujarat Titans captain, has received high appreciation for his diverse play and exceptional captaincy qualities in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Former India cricketer Zaheer Khan and former Indian coach Anil Kumble have praised Pandya’s leadership skills and readiness to listen to senior figures like head coach Ashish Nehra.

“If you talk about an impact player, Hardik is the ideal impact player. In the situation where he bats, at number five or six, it is not easy, especially in this format where you have to use the last three or four overs to bat at a particular strike rate while facing ten to twelve deliveries.

“That’s his specialty. His hand speed is exceptional and for a batter to have that hand speed and catch the ball, very few players can do that. Even when bowling, he can bowl at any phase, he is an all-phase bowler which is an asset,” Zaheer Khan said.

“If you look at the previous IPL, what we saw was that Hardik had never captained before. That was an advantage for Ashish Nehra as well because when you haven’t been a captain before, you want to learn the most about it. That’s why Nehra and Pandya’s partnership emerged as the Jodi No. 1 last season” Zaheer Khan added.

The reigning champions will meet the Chennai-based franchise on Friday, March 31 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

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