IPL 2022: Hardik Pandya has the qualities to be a successful captain, says Vikram Solanki

Hardik Pandya has all the qualities to become a very successful and good captain in the Indian Premier League, said Gujarat Titans director of cricket Vikram Solanki. Hardik was first named captain of the IPL when he was tapped by Mumbai Indians’ new franchise Gujarat Titans.

Hardik was drafted by the Titans for Rs 15 crore and was announced as their captain well before the auction. Although the Baroda all-rounder has no previous IPL leadership experience, he has been an integral part of the Mumbai Indians’ winning teams in the past.

Vikram Solanki said Hardik’s learnings from MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will help him as he leads the Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022. The Titans open their IPL 2022 campaign against another new franchise in Lucknow Super Giants on March 28 at Wankhede Stadium. which had been Hardik’s home in the IPL over the years.

“We see the qualities in Hardik that can make him a successful and very good captain. We’ve spoken a few times about his track record of winning IPL titles,” Solanki told The Telegraph.

“He was part of our leadership group and learned a lot from other captains like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. He will use all this learning to develop as a captain and is well supported by the support staff,” he said.

The spotlight will be on Hardik when the 2022 IPL kicks off on March 26 as the Indian all-rounder has not played competitive cricket since last year’s T20 World Cup. He also skipped the current Ranji Trophy season.

HARDIK WORKS HARD ON ALL ASPECTS: SOLANKI

Questions were asked about Hardik’s inability to contribute with the ball as the all-rounder rarely bowled for India in the build-up to the T20 World Cup. The Baroda star has been bogged down by back injuries that have kept him away from bowling.

While Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra will be more than happy to have Hardik as a batsman, Solanki said Hardik has worked hard to contribute to the team in IPL 2022 in more ways than one. However, Solanki said it was important to be patient with Hardik and let him return to his best form.

The 2022 IPL will play a vital role in determining Hardik’s chances of being part of the T20 World Cup pitch later this year as the competition for the all-rounder’s spot will not make things easy for the star cricketer.

“Hardik works extremely hard in all aspects of his game, in terms of rehabilitation and recovery. He is aware that he needs to get up to speed with hitting, bowling and fielding. He is on the road to recovery and is playing full part, but we have to be patient with the requirements,” added Solanki.

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