Gujarat Titans opener Shubman Gill has made a big indication that skipper Hardik Pandya is set to take a promotion in the batting order in the upcoming IPL 2022.
Titans are one of the two new franchises in the IPL. They had roped in Hardik Pandya, and appointed him their captain, Rashid Khan and Gill as their first three draft picks ahead of the mega-auction.
Hardik Pandya is set to make his return to the cricket field after more than four months having last played a high level game at the T20 World Cup in November. He’s since been away to focus on his fitness – he’s been struggling with back injury issues for more than two years and finally had a long break between cricket. This back injury has also restricted him from bowling full tilt.
Now, starting a new chapter in his career at Gujarat’s captain, Hardik Pandya is, as hinted by Gill, likely to take a role in the top order, maybe bat at number 3! In Titans’ practice game at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad recently, Hardik, who generally has batted as a finisher at number 5, 6, 7, came up in the order to face the new ball inside the powerplay!
Hardik Pandya has been batting with the new-ball in Gujarat Titans’ practise sessions.
“He (Hardik Pandya) was batting with the new ball in the first six overs, so it was something new, but we had a lot of fun. Everyone is really friendly and helpful. I am really looking forward to seeing what this season has in store for us,” Shubman Gill said in a video uploaded by the franchise.
As far as Shubman Gill is concerned, the young 22-year-old opener himself is also making a comeback to cricket. The right-hander missed the South Africa tour due to a shin injury, and while he was in India’s squad for the Sri Lanka Test series, he was benched in both the Tests. Gill, now moving on from KKR, is excited to take on the challenges as Gujarat’s opener.
“I was very excited to end my quarantine and start the practice session with my team. I got a good welcome from the team and some other boys also joined in. It was a pleasure to be here with the team. It was a match simulation, I enjoyed it. When you are batting after a week, it is important to just focus on the basics, but I played good knocks,” Shubman Gill said.
Gujarat Titans will play their first match against the other IPL debutants, Lucknow Super Giants, on March 28 in Mumbai.