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IPL 2022: What Hardik Pandya Said When Asked If He Would Bowl For Gujarat Titans In Tournament

Hardik Pandya will return to action in the IPL since his last appearance for India against Namibia in the T20 World Cup at Dubai on November 8.

In his new avatar as Gujarat Titans skipper, a fit-again Hardik Pandya on Sunday claimed his bowling would be a “surprise” element in the upcoming Indian Premier League. The ace Indian pace bowling all-rounder, who struggled to manage his bowling workload post his back surgery, will return to action in the IPL since his last appearance for India against Namibia in the T20 World Cup at Dubai on November 8. Asked whether he would bowl again, Hardik said it would be a “surprise”.

“Sir, it would be a surprise, so let it be a surprise,” the 28-year-old said on the sidelines of their jersey launch at their home ground Narendra Modi Stadium here.

Hardik was picked by Gujarat Titans for Rs 15 crore in the pre-auction draft and was named the captain as the former Mumbai Indians star will be seen in a new role of leading the side.

Hardik said captaincy is about man management.

“Success is theirs, failure is mine. Our role will be to make sure the players are comfortable in whatever capacity we can help them out. Clarity, honesty has to be there,” he said.

“In good times they don’t need any of us. But the season will test you, there will be difficult times and that’s when we will be there to support them,” Hardik reiterated what he had said during an earlier interaction.

The Ahmedabad-based franchise will make its IPL debut alongside Lucknow Super Giants to make it a 10-team IPL 2022 and they will take on the Lucknow franchise in their opening match on March 28.

The Gujarat Titans squad also includes India opener Shubman Gill, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, Australia’s Matthew Wade, senior India pacer Mohammed Shami and New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson.

“We want to create a culture where all the players feel at home, we want to give them a sense of security then only we can get the best out of them. We want to make them feel like they belong here. It’s about creating a new culture.”

The team will have former India pacer Ashish Nehra as the head coach and Hardik said it’s fun to work with him.

“He’s the funniest guy one can come across. He will never give you the coach vibe. It was very clear with Nehraji that let all the players decide what they want to do and give them freedom. You make mistakes but eventually you learn. I’m very excited to spend time with him,” he concluded.

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