Hardik Pandya hasn’t looked back since leading the Gujarat Titans to an IPL triumph in their maiden appearance last year, and the new Indian T20I captain credits his franchise coach Ashish Nehra for scoring.” a big difference” in his captaincy. Coming back from a long layoff through injury, the top all-rounder became Gujarat’s captain in a bold move by the rookies. But Pandya, who had led only once at the senior level in a Tour match against Australia, proved his detractors wrong and he led by example.
“What has been very important from Gujarat’s point of view is the type of coach I worked with. Ashish Nehra made a huge difference in my life, because of our way of thinking. We may be two different personalities but we have very similar cricket thoughts,” Pandya said after leading India to a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka here on Saturday.
“Because I was with him, he added value to my captaincy. He helped me get exactly what I know. It was just about getting that security, once I got that… the awareness of this game that I always knew. It was about knowing and supporting what he already knew. He has definitely helped me,” he added.
Ahead of the home series against Sri Lanka, the Indian selectors reviewed the squad after the Rohit Sharma-led side failed to win the T20I World Cup in Australia, losing to eventual champions England in the semi-final.
Prior to this series, Pandya had led the Indian T20I side when Rohit was unavailable.
“I have never led in junior cricket as well. When I was under-16 I managed Baroda. After that, everyone thought that I should focus on my game. Since then, I have not led (one side),” added Pandya.
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