'You'll See a Lot Of Him...,' Hardik Pandya on GT Superstar
Vijay Shankar and David Miller [Image- IPLT20]
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya believes that the willingness of his players to accept difficult situations and their constant strive to come out on top while staying humble at the same time, is the reason why his team keeps nailing tricky run-chases consistently.
Saturday evening was yet another example of what Hardik said as once again a GT batter, this time Vijay Shankar- managed to bail his side out from a tricky position to what eventually turned out to be an easy win against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shankar smoked 5 sixes and a couple of fours to race his way to an unbeaten 24-ball 51, as he and the ever constant, David Miller (32*off 18) made a mockery of the run-chase of 180.
That GT were able to keep KKR under 180 despite a stunning onslaught from Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (81 off 39) was purely because of the duo of Noor Ahmed and Joshua Little.
Ahmed and Little not only kept things tight, but they also claimed four wickets between them, including the prized scalp of Gurbaz, who was dismissed by the former.
Hardik was quite vocal in his praise for both Noor and Little as he admitted that it was purely because of their effort that they were able to restrict the home side to 179.
Here's what Hardik Pandya said:
''Down the line in the group, we know that we'll have to play good cricket to win the game, that's the humbleness which has kept us in good stead. Everyone wants to contribute, but they accept difficult positions and want to come out on top. It's all about playing good cricket consistently, irrespective of a win or a loss. He's fitter, more confident and the amount of hard work he's done is terrific. Going forward, you'll see a lot of Vijay Shankar, I always believe in my life that good guys go to good places, I'm very happy.
"They got us back into the game and kept us in the game (on Noor and Little), because the way Gurbaz batted, we were bowling good balls, but it was a long time I saw a batter playing with such conviction and clarity of thought. I would have taken 180 on that pitch especially after someone had made a 39-ball 81."
Courtesy of this win, GT have claimed the numero-uno spot in the IPL 2023 points table, while two-time winners KKR have slipped to the 7th spot.