Hardik Pandya created history on Sunday (May 29) leading Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title in their debut season of the T20 league. Pandya led from the front in the final against Rajasthan Royals as well, claiming 3/17 with the ball and then scoring 34 off 30 balls to star in a seven-wicket win at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Hardik’s wife Natasa Stankovic has been his biggest support throughout the IPL 2022 along with son Agastya. After the final, Natasa ran on to the field to hug her husband after the title win. The Bollywood star, model and dancer couldn’t stop herself from getting emotional while hugging Hardik, who was all smiles after the win.
Watch Natasa Stankovic hugging Hardik Pandya after the IPL 2022 win here…
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Hardik Pandya went through a lot of troubles as IPL 2022 was his comeback season. He was criticised a lot for not bowling during the T20 World Cup last year. He didn’t play a single game since then and worked a lot on his fitness making a comeback in the IPL this year. The GT skipper bowled significantly as well and most importantly, picked up three crucial wickets in the final when it mattered the most.
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya’s eagerness to learn as captain and his ability to effectively engage with his teammates contributed massively to Gujarat Titans’ title-winning run on IPL debut, said team mentor Gary Kirsten on Sunday.
Kirsten, who coached India to the 2011 World Cup title, was all praise for Hardik who excelled both as skipper and player in the team’s very first season. “He has been fantastic, I’ve looked working with him. He’s a high-profile player in India but he’s incredibly humble, wanting to learn as a leader and engage with his players which I thing is really, really important. He’s tried to help the youngsters, he’s come in and played a different responsibility,” he told the IPL host broadcaster.
On his experience, the South Africa said: “You never stop learning as a coach, every IPL is a learning experience, that’s what I enjoy. I’ve loved working with Ashish (Nehra), he’s really strong tactically – trying to put a gameplan together on the fly is not easy. There are so many variable in each game, but what I’ve enjoyed has been the responsibility players have taken to win games for us,” he said.
(with PTI inputs)