Five-time IPL winner Hardik Pandya wants ‘any team in the world’ to take a leaf out of Gujarat Titans’ maiden IPL triumph on their debut season and stated this victory will be something the coming generations will talk about.
Hardik’s Gujarat Titans capped off a dream campaign by lifting the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 title with a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the final in Ahmedabad. Hardik became the fourth Indian captain to win an IPL and the only to have not led at the international level.
“This is the right example for any team in the world. If you can play as a team and build a good unit with genuine people around, wonders can happen,” said Hardik during the post-match presentation ceremony. Hardik has won four IPL titles with Mumbai Indians.
After being released by Mumbai Indians ahead of the auctions this season, Hardik was roped in by Gujarat Titans in the draft and was made the captain. Not given much chance after the mega auctions in February, Gujarat Titans topped the table after the league stage.
With no proper match-winners on the side baring Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, and the support staff that consisted Ashish Nehra (head coach), Vikram Solanki (Director of Cricket) and Gary Kirsten (mentor), Gujarat Titans performed like a unit and proved once again what teamwork does.
“This title is going to be a special one because we talked about creating a legacy. The coming generations will talk about it,” Hardik said. “Everyone will remember this was the team who started this journey and to win the championship first year is very special.”
𝗖. 𝗛. 𝗔. 𝗠. 𝗣. 𝗜. 𝗢. 𝗡. 𝗦! 🏆 🙌— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 29, 2022
That moment when the @gujarat_titans captain @hardikpandya7 received the IPL trophy from the hands of Mr. @SGanguly99, President, BCCI and Mr. @JayShah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI. 👏 👏#TATAIPL | #GTvRR pic.twitter.com/QKmqRcemlY
The Gujarat Titans' triumphant skipper said he knew he was going to bat at number four for the first-timers after they got done with the mega auction ahead of IPL 2022. “When the auction finished, I knew I would have to bat at No. 4,” added the all-rounder.
Gujarat's highly-rated bowling attack, led by skipper Hardik (3/17) himself, limited a formidable Rajasthan Royals batting unit to 130 for nine after losing the toss. Asked about his bowling, he said, “Wanted to show at the right time what I've worked hard for.
“Today was the day from the bowling point of view I saved the best for the best. Second ball of my spell when I got Sanju (Samson) out, saw that if you hit the wicket hard and hit the seam something is gonna (going to) happen.
“It's all about sticking to the right lengths, asking the batters to play the right shots.” Hardik, known for his big-hitting abilities, curbed his attacking instinct to some extend during the tournament, focussing more on guiding his team with his calm and composed leadership.
“For me my team is the most important. I've always been that kind of individual. If I were to have a worse season and my team wins, I'll take that. I will take the trophy any day over striking at 160. My team comes first for me.”
Speaking about his batting, he said, “Batting comes first to me, always going to be close to my heart.” Hardik has enjoyed a splendid run in his fresh IPL season with his home franchise. In 14 innings, he has scored nearly 500 runs while also picking up plenty of wickets.