Former England skipper Michael Vaughan is looking at Hardik Pandya as a future India captain after the charismatic all-rounder guided newcomers Gujarat Titans to victory in IPL 2022. The Titans defeated Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to lift the prestigious IPL 2022 trophy on the back of finishing on top in the league table as well.
Pandya’s leadership skills have been praised by several current and former players and the England great, visibly impressed with the 28-year-old’s captaincy, said that he could stake claim to India’s captaincy in the next couple of years.
Rohit Sharma is currently the India captain in all three formats of the game, having taken over from Virat Kohli, but Pandya’s on- and off-the-field demeanour while leading the Titans has impressed Vaughan. Hours after the Titans lifted the trophy, Vaughan tweeted, “Fantastic achievement for a new franchise… If India need a captain in a couple of years I wouldn’t look past @hardikpandya7… Well done Gujurat .. #IPL2022.”
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 29, 2022
Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra too said after the title triumph that while it’s not easy for any team to finish on the podium in the first year of its inception, the boys “under the leadership of Hardik Pandya” had “really gelled well” to win in their opening IPL season.
“It’s a nice feeling, but winning the trophy apart, the more important thing is the way we played, the way we qualified. It was so very heartening to see. The first year is not easy, and all the boys did really well and gelled very well under Hardik’s leadership,” said the former India pace bowler.