Former Pakistan cricket team fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has opined that the Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya has proven himself as a worthy leader, but he still needs to work on one important aspect of his game. Pandya has had a dream IPL season thus far in 2022.
Not many fans expected him to achieve so much success in his first season as the Gujarat Titans captain, but the Baroda-based all-rounder has defied all odds and led the Titans to the IPL 2022 Final in their first season. Many members of the cricket universe now consider him a top contender for India’s captaincy.
Shoaib Akhtar is also highly impressed with his captaincy skills, but during an interaction with Sportskeeda Cricket ahead of the IPL 2022 Final, he highlighted that Hardik Pandya needs to work on his fitness.
“It’s never easy to captain the Indian cricket team. Hardik has proved his point (as a leader) but he still needs to focus on his fitness and bowling. When he was fit as an all-rounder, he was an automatic choice in the Indian team. As a pure batter, though, there is no vacancy in the Indian team,” said Shoaib Akhtar.
Here is why Shoaib Akhtar feels Hardik Pandya should work on his fitness
Fans who have followed the Gujarat Titans team closely would know that Hardik Pandya has frequently gone off the field after bowling an over or batting for long. Rashid Khan has captained the team during his absence.
Rashid has done well in Hardik’s absence, but at the international level, there is more responsibility on a captain, and a wrong decision by the standby skipper could have a big impact on the game. Hardik is back in the Indian squad for the upcoming home series against the South African cricket team. It will be interesting to see how he performs in those T20is.