Hardik Pandya 'wants to be like MS Dhoni', shares thoughts on IPL captaincy debut

There are two new teams competing in the IPL this season, one of them is the Gujarat Titans led by Hardik Pandya. For the first time in his IPL career, the versatile Indian play as a team leader and is in charge of his entire team on the field during IPL 2022.

In his debut as captain, Pandya has sent an inspirational message to fans ahead of their first IPL game of the season against fellow debutants and second new franchise, the Lucknow Super Giants at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, 28 March 2022.

His ambitions for IPL this season are very high and he has warned other IPL teams in a video posted on the official Gujarat Titans Twitter account. In his debut campaign as captain of the Gujarat Titans, Pandya said that he is ready to lead the Gujarat Titans team to victory.

Ready to lead the team

Although the 28-year-old aspires to lead his team to success, Pandya doesn't get carried away. He knows exactly what obstacles his team will face on the way to the top.

Pandya also has close ties to former India and CSK captain MS Dhoni and said he wanted to be as successful as Dhoni in the Indian Premier League. According to him, Dhoni is one of the best team captains of all time in world cricket.

Dhoni is also listed as one of the most successful captains in IPL history winning four titles and nine finals. Ahead of the IPL 2022, Dhoni resigned from his position as CSK's apex and was replaced by Ravindra Jadeja.

"I want to be successful as captain in the Indian Premier League, and want to emulate MS Dhoni," said the player whose full name is Hardik Himanshu Pandya.

Promising start

Pandya's ambition was not just nonsense. In the first match last March 28 at Wankhede Stadium, the Gujarat Titans managed to record a good start by defeating the Lucknow Super Giants with 5 wickets. In fact, his brother Krunal Pandya, playing in the Lucknow Super Giants team, and his good friend KL Rahul as the skipper.

The player with 20.6 million followers on Instagram said he was aware that in the IPL 2022 he faced some of his own friends and relatives. But when he led the Gujarat Titans he had to fight hard.

“This is a journey that will at times pit me against my siblings, my soul mate, and many of my closest friends. And like every flight, this too may experience turbulence. But hey, look at me. If I survive national storms, bans, grueling back injuries, and more, I know what it takes," said Pandya.

Besides being strengthened by Pandya, the Gujarat Titans have Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, and Rahul Tewatia in the squad who are all reliable in the game.

Apart from wanting to emulate Dhoni's success in the IPL, Pandya also learned a lot from Sachin Tendulkar. According to him, the lessons from Master Blaster could help him as he leads the Titans this season.

"I'm not going to tell you where I come from. You probably know that. I'll tell you where I'm taking you. Towards the pinnacle of what is called sporting success," Pandya said in the video.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.