If India need a captain in a couple of years I wouldn’t look past Hardik: Vaughan
New Delhi: Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has hailed Hardik Pandya as a future India captain after he led first-timers Gujarat Titans to an IPL title win.
Hardik led from the front with a three-wicket haul and a crucial 34 as Gujarat defeated former champions Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets to lift the 2022 IPL trophy on Sunday.
“Fantastic achievement for a new franchise… If India need a captain in a couple of years I wouldn’t look past @hardikpandya7… Well done Gujurat .. #IPL2022,” Vaughan tweeted.
Rohit Sharma is currently the Indian captain across formats, having taken over from Virat Kohli.
The 28-year-old’s leadership skills was lauded by former and current players, including former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and GT team mentor Gary Kirsten.
Hardik, who has amassed 487 runs and taken 8 wickets, was simply sensational in the final as Gujarat limited a formidable Rajasthan Royals batting unit to 130 for nine.
He also scored a crucial 34 before Shubman Gill and David Miller remained unbeaten on 45 and 32 to take the team home in 18.1 overs.
Gavaskar feels Hardik has emerged as contender for India captaincy
Impressed by Hardik Pandya’s “leadership qualities” in IPL-15, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar feels the star all-rounder has emerged as a strong contender to lead the Indian team in near future.
Making a comeback after a subdued outing in the T20 World Cup last year, Hardik captained Gujarat Titans to a memorable title triumph in a dream maiden IPL season, forcing those who gave the first-timers no chance before the tournament to eat humble pie.
“Yes definitely. Not just my estimation, but everybody’s estimation (Hardik’s reputation as a leader has gone up). This was an aspect of his game which nobody had too much information about,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“When you have leadership qualities, it automatically opens the door for honours at the national level to be able to captain the Indian national team in the near future.”
“So that’s exciting, there are 3-4 other names in the ring. I am not saying he is the next in line. But for the selection committee to have that option is fantastic,” he added.