Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya said he can’t wait to work alongside head coach Ashish Nehra in the 2022 Indian Premier League season and said the former fast bowler will help create a light atmosphere in the dressing room .
Gujarat Titans, one of the two new franchises for the 2022 IPL season, presented their shirts on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Hardik, drafted for Rs 15 crore, will lead the team while Nehra has been appointed head coach.
Nehra has previously worked with the support staff at Royal Challengers Bangalore but he is taking on the head coaching role for the first time in the IPL.
“He’s the funniest guy you can meet. He’ll never put you in the coaching mood. With Nehraji, it was very clear that he lets all the players decide what they want to do and gives them freedom. You make mistakes, but eventually you will learn.” I’m really looking forward to spending time with him,” Hardik told reporters after the shirt launch.
Hardik, ready to headline an IPL franchise for the first time, sheds light on his mantra for the new season, adding that man management will be crucial in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL.
“Success is yours, failure is mine. Our job will be to make sure the players are comfortable in any way we can help them. There must be clarity and honesty,” he said.
“In good times they don’t need any of us. But the season will test you, there will be difficult times and then we will be there to support them,” he added.
‘IT IS A SUPRISE’
The Gujarat Titans roster also includes Indian opener Shubman Gill, Afghan spinner Rashid Khan, Australia’s Matthew Wade, senior Indian pacesetter Mohammad Shami and speedy New Zealander Lockie Ferguson.
However, the fit again Hardik Pandya, who has not played competitive cricket since the 2021 T20 World Cup, remained curious if he could bowl for the Titans. Hardik was unable to bowl regularly for his previous franchise and India due to recurring back injuries.
When asked if he would bowl again, Hardik said it would be a surprise.
“Sir, it would be a surprise, so let it be a surprise,” he said.
The Gujarat Titans begin their IPL 2022 campaign on March 28 against the Lucknow Super Giants.