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"Captaincy is something I back my instincts on" : Hardik Pandey

2023 Apr 26, 18:12, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India]

 Hardik Pandya with his captaincy skills has been the backbone of the Gujarat Titans (GT). His unexpected calls and decisions have worked in the favour of GT most of the time. Once again his decisions against Mumbai Indians (MI) allowed GT to register a comfortable victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Gujarat on Tuesday.

After a slow powerplay, MI started to regain momentum with Cameron Green. But the decision to bring in the deadly spinners helped GT regain control of the match.

"That has been my motto, always taking calls on situations. T20 is very funny, a couple of sixes can change your mind. Captaincy is something I back my instincts on. Me and Ashu Pa (Ashish Nehra) have a similar mindset, we back our calls and we have similar calls. Today, the idea of bowling Rashid and Noor was simple," Hardik Pandya said after the match.

"They like pace with Green and Tim David who are big hitters, and that's why we wanted to offer them spin and offer them spinners that are difficult to read. Wanted to close the game early because a couple of games haven't gone in our favour recently. (On Abhinav Manohar) I think it is all hard work, he bats 2 hours in the nets every day it feels like, he's been our best death overs hitter. We spoke to him last year and there were a few things he had to improve on, and this year he's come out blazing."

While defending 208, captain Hardik Pandya provided Gujarat Titans with a good start as he sent back the opposition captain Rohit Sharma in just the second over. Rohit got a top edge as he looked to pull one to the leg side and Hardik settled under it to pouch a tricky catch on return.

Shami bowled a brilliant third over and beat Ishan Kishan's outside edge multiple times, conceding just two runs. Green finally got the first boundary of the innings, in the fourth over as he smashed one over long off for a mighty six. MI reached 29/1 at the end of the first six overs.

The pressure was building and it brought rewards as Rashid Khan sent back Kishan (13 off 21) in the 8th over and three balls later, he trapped Impact Player Tilak Varma LBW via a successful review. MI were pushed on the back foot as they reached 58/3 at the halfway mark.

Noor Ahmad added further misery for MI as he cleaned up Green (33 off 26) in the next over and had Tim David in the same over to reduce MI to 59/5.

Nehal Wadhera took the attack to Noor Ahmad, hitting a four and a six and Suryakumar swept one for a four but the Afghanistan spinner bounced back to have the ominous-looking Suryakumar (23 off 12) caught and bowled to bounce back hard.

With the required run rate creeping over 18, Wadhera and Piyush Chawla got together and tried to put up a fight with a 24-ball 45-run stand but with 73 needed off 18, Chawla departed, run-out, trying to run through for a bye. Wadhera (40 off 21) departed in the same over, mistiming his scoop to a short fine leg, off Mohit Sharma. It was always going to be an uphill battle as MI kept losing regular wickets and they fell well short of the target as GT won the match by 55 runs. 


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