'One thing I admire about Hardik...': Gujarat Titans star's big statement on Pandya and MS Dhoni

Mar 24, 2023 07:35 PM IST

Hardik Pandya led the Gujarat Titans to the IPL title in their very first season in the tournament.

The 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw Hardik Pandya getting a second lease of life in his career. The all-rounder had lost his place in the Indian team due to his inability to bowl amid injuries but he ended up excelling with bat and ball while leading Gujarat Titans to the title as a captain to boot.

Pandya led Gujarat to the title in their debut IPL season itself
Pandya led Gujarat to the title in their debut IPL season itself

Since then, Pandya has become a mainstay in the Indian team, steadily increasing his bowling workload in ODI cricket as well and has led the team on a number of occasions. His calm demeanor while being captain of a squad has led to former cricketers and commentators often comparing Pandya to MS Dhoni. As it turns out, those who have played under both players also feel the same way. R Sai Kishore who took six wickets in five matches for GT last season, had also played for two seasons at CSK.

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"Hardik and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) are pretty similar in the way they handle things, they both are pretty calm," Sai Kishore told the media during a virtual interaction session on Friday. "One thing that I really admire about Hardik is his ability to handle success and failure equally – that is something very unique about him. He is a level-headed guy and that works (for him)," he said.

The 28-year-old said Gujarat Titans, who won the IPL last year in their debut season, will have to replicate their performances from last season in order to be successful.

"The tag of being defending champions is up to us whether to take it or not. We played well last year and that is why we won. I think if we can do that (then) the tag won’t matter much," he said.

Sai Kishore said the new rule of having an 'Impact Player' in IPL will make it more manageable than what it was in domestic circuit.

"It is more like the super-sub rule where we can either use a bowler or a batsman. It is basically like playing with 12 people. We have already played with this (rule) in domestic (cricket). The only change is that we can use it till the 20th over, in domestic it was restricted to the 14th over. In 20 overs, it should be a lot easier to handle,” he said.

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