Hardik Pandya walked off the grounds midway through his 3rd over (Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Gujarat Titans (GT) captain Hardik Pandya has quashed all injury concerns after he walked off the ground against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Thursday. He stated that it was just cramps as he left the ground midway through his third over in their IPL 2022 match.
Pandya’s love-hate relationship with injuries is nothing new. He returned to competitive cricket in the ongoing IPL 2022 after a long injury haul. He has looked in rhythm in five games so far, chipping in with telling contributions with both bat and ball and leading the team from the front.
However, midway into his third over, Hardik Pandya walked off the ground, holding his groin. It raised eyebrows from all sections, given that India will bank heavily on the all-rounder in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
However, speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, the Gujarat Titans captain said:
“Just to be clear, it was just cramps. Nothing serious.”
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya has been in sublime form in the 15th edition of the cash-rich league. He made an all-round contribution against the Rajasthan Royals. He chipped in with an unbeaten 87 runs before running out Sanju Samson and picking up the crucial wicket of James Neesham.
He helped his side pick up their fourth win in five matches as they beat RR by 37 runs.
The cricketer from Baroda came out to bat in the third over and batted throughout the innings. He revealed that he is not used to batting these long but is relishing the opportunity. He added:
“Not used to batting so long. Batted for 15 and 17 overs. It gives me a lot of time to take calculated risks. In the last game it did not come off but today I made sure it did. Today I was ready to take on the bowlers.”
Batting in an unusual No. 4 batting position this season, Pandya has adapted well and has paced his innings to perfection. He has played the anchor role and has also shifted gears as and when required.
“Captaincy is always fun” – Gujarat Titans Hardik Pandya
Captaining for the first time in the IPL, the former Mumbai Indians cricketer is relishing the opportunity to lead the side and be the flagbearer of the team.
Throwing light on his new role, Hardik Pandya stated that he is excited about how things are shaping up. He added:
“Captaincy is always fun because it allows me to take responsibility and be the flag-bearer. I’m very happy with the way the group is shaping up to be. They are carrying one another. That’s the motto of the team as well. I wanted everyone to be happy for each other’s success and play as a team. That’s something that’s working for us.”
With this victory, Gujarat Titans are now at the top of the IPL 2022 points table with eight points in five matches. They will play their next game against the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.