Although a section of cricket followers had their doubts on whether Hardik Pandya was a good choice for leading Gujarat Titans, as the tournament is nearing its end, there is little doubt that the India all-rounder has managed his resources well. Hardik-led Gujarat Titans not only became the first team to reach the Playoffs but in a clinical manner also became the first side to secure a berth in the finals.
Impressed by his leadership ability, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh has said that Hardik could go on to lead India in white-ball cricket in the next 3-4 years. His comment came while he was expressing his views for the official broadcasters Star Sports during the IPL 2022 Qualifier 2 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals on Friday.
As far as the match is concerned, it was Rajasthan Royals who thrashed Bangalore to set up a summit clash with Gujarat Titans. While Faf du Plessis & his boys were restricted to 157/8, courtesy of brilliant spells from Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy, it was Jos Buttler’s fourth hundred in IPL 2022 that allowed Rajasthan to reach the finals.
“Very satisfying. All the planning, all the hard work. Really tough with the close defeat to Gujarat Titans but the guys got back up and came back strongly. Jos Buttler backs his strengths and manoeuvres the bowling to bowl more and more to his strengths. The great thing is he can accelerate anytime. Overall he is a wonderful guy who thinks deeply about his game and himself,” RR’s Director of Cricket and Head coach Kumar Sangakkara said after the match.
“The entire bowling unit was outstanding. Special mention to Prasidh. We had 16 to defend in the last game, and three sixes by Miller. It can cause a huge dent in then confidence. But he was honest, he was great in the nets,” he added.
RR will meet Hardik’s GT at the latter’s home ground for the IPL 2022 summit clash on May 29.