In the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gujarat Titans have turned out to be the surprise package. Many had felt that Gujarat hadn't got a decent side after the mega auction ended. But to everyone's surprise, Gujarat have been a force to reckon with, winning six of their seven matches and sitting pretty on top of points table.
One of the big factors for Gujarat's success has been the performance of Hardik Pandya as captain and player. With the bat, he is the leading run-getter for the side while batting at three and four, scoring 295 runs at an average of 73.75 and strike-rate of 136.6. With his right-arm pace, he has picked four wickets at an economy rate of 7.6. As a captain, Pandya has marshalled his side into becoming a winning force.
Now, with Gujarat set to face Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, former England off-spinner Graeme Swann feels that Pandya is thriving on being a senior player and leader of the side while showing calmness. Pandya is entering the match against Hyderabad on the back of a hat-trick of fifties, including a fifty against the same opposition.
"Hardik's great. He's calm, he's cool and is doing a really great job. Captaincy brings out the best in some people and the worst in others either performance-wise or character flaws. With Hardik, it's brought out the best in him," Swann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.
"He's someone, who thrives on being the senior player, the leader and he exudes calmness His team are helping him out. As a leader, if your team aren't performing and winning you games, everyone will say you're rubbish. Look at Jadeja, I think he is a good captain but CSK aren't winning games," added Swann.
Wednesday's match between the two teams promises to be a showdown between two strong bowling attacks, especially in terms of pace bowling. Swann feels that Hyderabad's bowling attack has got the upper hand over Gujarat due to presence of left-arm pacer Marco Jansen and tearaway pacer Umran Malik.
"On the way to the ground, I'm genuinely excited to watch SRH bowl. Not only have they got 8 foot 15 Jansen bowling good pace left-arm, but Umran Malik, he has brought to the IPL something that we have not seen for a few years. A fresh fast bowler, out-and-out pace."20220427-170402