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India vs South Africa: Hardik Pandya’s leadership in IPL 2022 impressive, says Rahul Dravid

India head coach Rahul Dravid heaped rich praise on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy in the Indian Premier League ans said there’s no need to be a designated leader to be part of Team India’s leadership group. Speaking to the press in the lead-up to the 5-match T20I series against South Africa, starting June 9, Dravid said the team management will right now focus on getting the best out of Hardik, the all-rounder.

Hardik Pandya proved naysayers wrong by leading Gujarat Titans to IPL 2022 title in what was his first stint as captain in the Indian Premier League. Hardik had no prior experience of leading a team at the senior level but the all-rounder impressed with his leadership and showcased calmness and maturity with his on-field decisions.

Dravid, who addressed the press on Tuesday, said he had met Hardik only a couple of hours before the press conference and confirmed that the all-rounder, along with the ones who were part of the IPL 2022 final on May 29, were given an extra day’s rest.

“I just met Hardik a couple of hours ago. For the guys who played the final, we gave them an extra day off. But I think his leadership was very impressive right through the IPL. He performed very well,” Dravid said.

“In the sense, you don’t have to be designated as a leader to be part of any leadership group. It’s not only about Hardik being designated in a position. At this point in time, it’s really about it’s good from our perspective that he has started bowling again. We know what that does for us, and what his bowling can add to our depth.

“It’s about ensuring that we can get the best out of him as a cricketer, in terms of bowling, batting, and fielding, and in terms of what happens ahead, it depends on many factors. The selectors will take that decision, in terms of what happens in the future.


Furthermore, Dravid said it’s so good to see a lot of young Indians being handed the role of captains in the IPL and it will only help them grow as a cricketer and a person.

“It’s great that we have a lot of Indian captains in the IPL doing well, Hardik is one of them. KL Rahul did a good job at LSG. Sanju did well for the Royals. It’s really nice to see the younger guys leading.

“It helps people grow and develop as players. It helps you grow as a person also. It’s great from our perspective that there are lot of leadership positions for young Indians in the IPL,” Dravid added.

Hardik was recalled to the senior national time for the first time since the T20 World Cup last year. The all-rounder scored more than 450 runs and picked up 8 wickets, including a match-winning 3-wicket haul in the final against the Rajasthan Royals.

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