“He’s a four-dimensional player now”

Hardik Pandya turned heads at IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat Titans (GT) to their maiden title in their first ever edition. Ahead of the season, all eyes were on the versatile Indian star as he was about to mark his return to competitive cricket after a long stretch and his fitness level was to be scrutinized by many.

However, Hardik rose to the occasion and filled the batting, bowling role as he did extremely well as captain for the first time in the IPL. With the bat, Hardik amassed 487 runs – his best tally in a season – and took eight wickets, including three in the final, before leading GT to their first title. Thus, former Indian Stumper Kiron More praised him and called him a four-dimensional player.

“The best moment for me in IPL 15 was the way the Gujarat Titans played cricket. It was exceptional. And especially with Hardik becoming captain and lifting the trophy, his personal performance was just as brilliant. Mumbai Indians to Gujarat Titans, it’s not easy to go and manage the new team and win the championship immediately,” More told the SG podcast.

READ ALSO | IPL 2022 review: From MS Dhoni confirmation to historic Gujarat Titans triumph

Recalling Hardik’s early days as a cricketer, More, who represented India in 49 Tests and 94 ODIs, said: “He wanted to play this sport. Krunal Pandya (his elder brother) had joined my academy and Hardik used to hang around. He used to keep running behind the net and catching the ball. That’s when I told Krunal to take it to the net as well, and that’s when It was then that I saw the hunger in his eyes.

“For me, Hardik was a young boy who wanted to play all the time. I now believe he’s a four-dimensional player now. He used to be a three-dimensional player because he was a bowler, batter and defender, but now he’s also a captain. So you’re proud to have such a talented cricketer on the national side,” More added.

Hardik will now focus on the upcoming T20I India-South Africa home series. This will also mark his return to the Team India set up after the 2021 T20 World Cup. In Rohit Sharma’s absence, KL Rahul will lead the 18-member squad.

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Post expires at 11:58am on Monday June 13th, 2022

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