IPL 2022: Hardik Pandya says bowling will be a 'surprise', post-injury
- Bowling has been a major issue for Hardik since he underwent back surgery in February 2020
- Hardik Pandya last played competitive cricket in November last year against Namibia in the T20 World Cup
- He was picked by Gujarat Titans for Rs 15 crore from the pre-auction IPL players' draft
Hardik Pandya is all set to lead Gujarat Titans in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season. He is fit and keenly looking forward to taking the strides to take the speedometer by surprise. On the jersey unveiling event of Gujarat Titans, all-rounder Hardik Pandya said his bowling would be a “surprise” element in the upcoming Indian Premier League. Bowling has been a major issue for Hardik since he underwent back surgery in February 2020.
The ace Indian pace bowling all-rounder will return to action in the IPL since his last appearance for India against Namibia in the T20 World Cup at Dubai on November 8.
Asked whether he would bowl again, Hardik said it would be a surprise.
“Sir, it would be a surprise, so let it be a surprise,” the 28-year-old said on the sidelines of their jersey launch at their home ground Narendra Modi Stadium here.
Hardik Pandya was bought by one of the new entrants Gujarat Titans for Rs 15 crore from the pre-auction IPL players' draft and was named the captain of the franchise. Pandya was a key member of the Mumbai Indians team before the franchise decided to release him for IPL 2022.
Asked about captaincy Hardik said it is all about man-management.
“Success is theirs, failure is mine. Our role will be to make sure the players are comfortable in whatever capacity we can help them out. Clarity, honesty has to be there,” he said.
“In good times they don’t need any of us. But the season will test you, there will be difficult times and that’s when we will be there to support them,” Hardik reiterated what he had said during an earlier interaction.
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The Ahmedabad-based franchise will make its IPL debut alongside Lucknow Super Giants to make it a 10-team IPL 2022 and they will take on the Lucknow franchise in their opening match on March 28.
“We want to create a culture where all the players feel at home, we want to give them a sense of security then only we can get the best out of them. We want to make them feel like they belong here. It’s about creating a new culture.”
The team will have former India pacer, Ashish Nehra, as the head coach and Hardik said it’s fun to work with him.
“He’s the funniest guy one can come across. He will never give you the coach vibe. It was very clear with Nehraji that let all the players decide what they want to do and give them freedom. You make mistakes but eventually you learn. I’m very excited to spend time with him,” he concluded.