Star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya exceeded expectations during his maiden Indian T20 League campaign as a skipper, guiding Team Gujarat to the title in what was the team’s debut in India’s premier domestic T20 competition.
While his bowling did take a hit during the initial games, he compensated for the loss by ending up as the highest run-getter for his team, scoring 487 runs at an average of almost 45.
The final match against Rajasthan, in particular, was the one that etched his name in the history books. After having put to bowl first, Hardik led his bowling attack from the front by finishing with a figure of 3/17 in four overs.
With the bat, he scored an all-important 30-ball 34, which led him to being adjudged as the Man of the Match. In doing so, he became only the third captain after Anil Kumble and Rohit Sharma to be named the Man of the Match in an Indian T20 League final.
Gujarat, who are arguably the most balanced side in the league, finished the league stage at the top of the table with 20 points after 10 wins and four defeats in 14 games. Gujarat were head and shoulders above the competition and despite losing three of their last five league games, finished the league stage two points above the second-placed Rajasthan.
Overall, in his 15 matches as a captain for Team Gujarat, Hardik Pandya came out on top on 11 occasions, finishing with an impressive win percentage of 73.33.
During his debut season as captain, the Baroda-born all-rounder smashed a career-high four half-centuries in one season while also finishing with eight wickets at an economy of 7.28.
Thanks to an unassailable performance in the Indian T20 League, Pandya made a comeback to the international circuit, making it to India’s squad for the South Africa series.
Furthermore, he reached another high in his career after being named the captain of the Indian cricket team for two T20Is against Ireland.
Hardik Pandya captaincy record in T20 cricket
Featured photo: Twitter / Hardik Pandya