‘He grew in a team of superstars. He was like, ‘they will take care of me’ | Cricket

Team India returned to action earlier this month when they faced South Africa at home in the five-game T20I series. The series ended in a 2-2 draw with the fifth and final game being washed out; however, it saw a blistering return of two of India’s big names in the white ball formats – Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik. Both players received the international call-up for their consistent performances in the recently concluded 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League, producing impressive performances on their return to the Indian colors.

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Hardik has also been named captain of the Indian team in the absence of wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant for the two-match T20I series in Ireland. Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar praised the all-rounder’s growth and said he has become a more mature cricketer since returning to professional cricket.

“It’s good to see the maturity that has come into Hardik Pandya’s percussion and his cricket in general. He has tempered his talent with that little bit of responsibility,” Gavaskar said Star sports.

“Earlier, when he played on a team full of superstars. I mean, he grew up on the team of superstars, be it Mumbai Indians or India. And so it was easy to say, ‘I’ll just play my game because these guys will take care of me. They’ll record it in case I fail.”

“Now, as captain, he knows his responsibility. He knows he has to take his team. And that has only made him better as a cricketer and that is only good for Indian cricket,” explains Gavaskar.

Hardik had led the Gujarat Titans to the title win this year in the franchise’s inaugural season in the Indian Premier League. He also finished the season as the team’s highest scorer (487 runs in 15 innings). In the T20I series against South Africa, the all-rounder scored 117 runs in four innings with a brilliant success rate of 153.95.


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