Hardik Pandya in Mumbai Indians colours.© MI
Since the weekend, the one news that has got the Indian cricket team talking is the return of Hardik Pandya from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians. Hardik Pandya became a star T20 player at the Mumbai Indians and then left the franchise for Gujarat Titans. In his maiden season as captain at Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya led them to the title and the next season helped his team finish runners-up.
Ahead of the IPL 2024, Hardik Pandya moved back to his first franchise, Mumbai Indians, following a trade between the two franchises. The all-rounder spent two momentous years with GT, spearheading their campaign with aplomb.
Ravinchandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya's India cricket teammate and Rajasthan Royals player, described the move in an interesting way.
"After Hardik, they have landed gold. They have got an Indian T20 Team captain, who has won an IPL and became runner-up in the last two years in which he was away. It's like calling up your son and telling him, 'Hey son, here's some money go live the world, man. Go and get an MBA degree'," Ashwin told on his YouTubeChannel.
"So he basically went to GT, became a leader, got an MBA degree and came back home. It's crazy man. He has won a title and become a runner-up, and he became a title by the margin of one ball, here and there."
GT Team Director Vikram Solanki acknowledged Pandya's contribution to the team's success in then last two seasons.
"As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one IPL championship and one appearance in the final," Solanki was quoted as saying in a statement.
"He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours," the former England batter further added.
Solanki, who has closely worked with Gill, vouched for his maturity.
"Shubman Gill has shown growth in stature and standing over the last two years at the highest level of the game. We've seen him mature not only as a batter but also as a leader in cricket," Solanki opined.
"His maturity and skill is evident in his on-field performance and we are extremely excited to embark on a new journey with a young leader like Shubman at the helm," the head of GT think-tank said.
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