Gujarat Titans Director of Cricket Vikram Solanki has given a positive update on the fitness of star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, the skipper of the franchise who was bought for INR 15 crore.
Hardik Pandya has been away from the game since the T20 World Cup as he has given his full attention to his fitness, especially his back injury which has kept him from bowling full tilt for more than two years.
Vikram Solanki said that the 28-year-old has been working hard and is “on his path to recovery”. He acknowledged Hardik’s hard-hitting batting, adding that the franchise is expecting their skipper to play all his roles in the upcoming IPL 2022.
Hardik Pandya is working extremely hard on his fitness
“Hardik Pandya is working extremely hard in all aspects of his game, from the rehabilitation and recovery point of view. He is conscious that he has to get up to speed with batting, bowling and fielding… He is on his path to recovery and playing a full part but we have to be patient with the demands,” Solanki told The Telegraph.
“Remember, he is coming back from an injury. Hardik as a batsman is an exceptional addition to any team. But if we take batting, bowling, and fielding together, then he’s a complete package. But having said all that, we have to be conscious of his long-term plans. We are very happy with the way he is progressing.”
Hardik Pandya, who attained all his IPL success with Mumbai Indians, will be leading an IPL franchise for the first time. But Solanki is confident having put faith in Hardik. He pointed out that Hardik has played under MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli in the IPL and for Team India, and will use all their experiences in his debut captaincy stint.
“We see in Hardik Pandya the qualities that can turn him into a successful and very fine captain. We have spoken a couple of times about his track record as far as winning IPL titles is concerned.
“He has been part of our leadership group and has taken a lot of learnings from other captains like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni. He will use all that learning in developing himself as a captain and will be well backed by the support staff,” Solanki admitted.
For their opening match, the Gujarat Titans will take on the other new franchise, Lucknow Super Giants, on March 28 at the Wankhede.