IPL 2023: ‘Thoda bada ho gaya’ – Hardik Pandya on his mature and calm demeanour as Gujarat Titans captain

The 29-year-old led GT to title win in their inaugural season last year. In the IPL 2023 as well, the team is tied with table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) with 10 points each. Hardik’s stellar performance as captain in IPL has also seen him being promoted as India’s T20I captain.

On being quizzed about his sudden evolution as a cool, calm and mature leader, the flamboyant all-rounder said that the ups and downs in his life had a role to play in it.

He asserted that the tough times he has endured in life on and off the field, has a huge role to play in his overall growth as an individual and as a player.

“Thoda bada ho gaya lag raha hai. I matured beyong my age I think as life taught me a lot through the ups and downs. I have always backed myself and tried to be a good person. If I have fallen down then I have also jumped back and risen higher with a lot of force.

“If you overthink and get frustrated a lot, then there could be some problem in decision making. So I make sure to be normal and cool,” Hardik said after the win at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Hardik in his career has found himself embroiled in controversy following his sexist comments in a talk show, stayed out of the team for a long time due to a career-threatening back injury and also endured the death of his father sometime ago.

The Gujarat-born cricketer has also reckoned that backing his instincts and having a coach like Ashish Nehra on his side has also helped him a lot as a captain.

“That has been my motto, always taking calls on situations. T20 is very funny, a couple of sixes can change your mind. Captaincy is something I back my instincts on. I and Ashu Pa have a similar mindset, we back our calls and we have similar calls. Today, the idea of bowling Rashid and Noor was simple,” Hardik said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

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