Summing up the team’s maiden journey in IPL 2022, where the side first topped the league phase and then set up a title clash with Rajasthan Royals, Pandya gave almost the entire credit for the success to head coach and former Indian pace bowler Ashish Nehra.
“I and my brother (Krunal) were having a chat before we signed anything. I said, someone who can understand me and know me as a person and kind of get the best out of me would be Ashish Nehra. So for me, playing and spending so much time with him is always fun and I’ve always enjoyed his company no matter what.
Having watched him from close quarters, Vikram Bhai is all praise for Hardik the captain 💙#SeasonOfFirsts #AavaDe https://t.co/VV7GuGrtOT
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 1653798600000
“Our cricketing minds work in a similar fashion. He is someone who spends so much time looking after people (and) that is a fantastic quality. He makes sure he gives ample time to every individual. Ashu Pa (Nehra) and a lot of credit goes to the support staff to make sure that the outside environment is pretty chilled out and all that,” said Pandya.
Pandya added that when it comes to taking charge on the ground, he takes over and ensure everyone believes in themselves in order to get the job done.
“And when it comes to competitiveness, I think that’s where I take over. When we go on the ground, it’s ruthless business for me. For me, it’s about getting your job done. For us it is very important to kind of believe in ourselves and make sure that all the players feel that they are at home,” added Pandya.
Knock-knock, Padosi! ✊ Let’s play 🏏? #SeasonOfFirsts #AavaDe #GTvRR #TATAIPL #IPLFinal https://t.co/UNTuGWRw6s
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 1653745987000
The skipper said the main quality of his side was that some individual or the other always comes up with a match-winning performance whatever be the situation.
“Whenever we are put under situations where we have to show our character, some individual has kind of stood up and shown the way. I don’t care about the result, I care about the intensity. I care about how much you’re putting your team first,” said Pandya in a video posted by the franchise.
Pandya has been scrutinised for every action of his, and most of it borders on criticism. But the all-rounder says that the best way to answer critics is not to answer at all.
“Throughout my life people have counted me out, always put a question mark, and the same thing happened when we went ahead about this auction, or even retention or even my captaincy. You know the best way to answer is not answer and I think all the people who said something or gave their opinion, I don’t have to tell them to take it back. I think they themselves have taken it back,” said Pandya.