Under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, tournament newbies Gujarat Titans have risen above expectations to become the first team to seal an IPL playoffs berth this season. The Titans are currently at the top of the table with 18 points from 12 games, with Hardik earning praise for his tactical acumen and contributions in all three departments. IPL 2022 Full Coverage
Hardik is currently the top run-scorer of his IPL team with 344 runs in 11 games. He’s also chipping in with vital overs. But the flamboyant Baroda all-rounder has had his fair share of struggles in the past two years. A back injury almost derailed his international career but he looks all set to make a return to the Indian set-up.
Hardik has got the reputation of wearing his heart on his sleeve and the GT skipper never holds back from showing his emotions on the field. But Titans pacer Mohammed Shami feels his IPL captain has considerably mellowed down with leadership responsibility.
“After he (Hardik) became captain, he has become more normal, his reactions have been tempered (mellowed). I have advised him to control his emotions on the field because the entire world watches cricket,” Shami told mediapersons on Friday.
“It is very important as a leader to be sensible, understand situations and he has performed that role to perfection,” the senior India bowler added.
Shami, who forms a lethal Titans bowling attack alongside Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan, has been the highest wicket-taker for the IPL debutants with 16 plucks so far in the 10-team tournament. The 31-year-old pacer further compared Hardik’s captaincy style with the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, saying each skipper has a unique approach when it comes to leading the side.
“Every captain has a different temperament. Mahi (Dhoni) bhai was quiet, Virat was aggressive, Rohit leads according to match situations, so understanding Hardik’s mindset is not rocket science,” Shami further said.
Shami is among the top bowlers in world cricket when it comes to the seam position. He’s been the powerplay enforcer for the Titans and the Bengal bowler said made sure of living up to the responsibility.
“As far as my performance is concerned, whenever I was given the white ball, I always tried to put in my 100 per cent. Not just this season, if you look at the last four seasons then you can see nobody (in teams that he played) took more wickets than me,” said Shami.
“Whenever I am entrusted with the responsibility I have always tried to live up to that. I have always tried to perform my role to the 100 per cent of my capability.”