Cricketers going up against their former Indian Premier League (IPL) team has been among the main attractions of a game this season. David Warner, now a Delhi Capitals batter, stole the limelight with his befitting knock of 92* off 58 balls against his his former team Sunrisers Hyderabad, which was termed as a “grudge match” and a “revenge game”. However, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that such will not be the scenario when Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans captain, will be up against his former team Mumbai Indians on Friday at the Brabourne Stadium. (Follow IPL 2022 full coverage)
An unheralded Hardik was roped in by Mumbai Indians back in 2015 and was retained for the 2018 season as well as the start all-rounder grew into an integral member of the Rohit Sharma-led side. In his seven year stay at the franchise, Mumbai won the title four times.
However, Hardik was not retained by Mumbai for the 2022 season, and Gujarat Titans chose him as one of their three draft picks before naming him as the captain.
Speaking to Star Sports after the match between Delhi and Hyderabad, Gavaskar admitted that while Hardik would want to give his best against Mumbai given that he wasn’t retained, it won’t be the same as was the case for Warner against Hyderabad.
He further added that Hardik owed a lot to MI given that they had made his IPL debut under them.
“To win will means they (GT) qualify. So that becomes important. Obviously he would want to do his best against the team. But he also owes so much to the Mumbai Indians. MI were the first to have him the break when he really wasn’t know outside Baroda. He and Krunal. And from there both of them have come out so well. They are brilliant and top-class cricketers. He would want to do well because he wasn’t retained, but each team could only retain 3 or 4 players. And MI took the right decision by retaining the players they did. And they were also probably hoping they would buy him back, but that didn’t work out. But it surely won’t be like what we saw today with Warner against SRH. What happened last year (with Warner) wasn’t a pleasant one which we all saw, but it will not be the same for Hardik,” he said.
A win for Gujarat would mean that they would qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2022 while for Mumbai, who have managed only one win in nine games, will be officially out of the race.
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