RAJKOT: There was no turning back for Hardik Pandya since he led Gujarat Titans to an IPL triumph on their first appearance last year, and India’s new T20I skipper credits his franchise coach Ashish Nehra with making “a big difference” in his role as captain.
Returning from a long absence through injury, the first all-rounder has been named skipper of Gujarat in a bold move by the debutants.
But Pandya, who had led only once at senior level in a tour match against Australia, proved his critics wrong and led by example.
“What was very important from a Gujarat perspective was the type of coach I worked with. Ashish Nehra made a big difference in my life, because of our mindset. We we may be two different personalities but we have very similar cricketing thoughts,” Pandya said after leading India to a 2-1 win over Sri Lanka on Saturday.
“Because I was with him, it added value to my captaincy. It helped me get exactly what I know. It was just about getting that assurance, once I had that… the awareness of this game that I always knew. It was all about knowing and supporting what I already knew. It definitely helped me,” he added.
Ahead of the home series against Sri Lanka, India selectors reshuffled the squad after the Rohit Sharma-led side failed to win the T20I World Cup in Australia, losing to eventual champions England in the semis. -final.
Prior to this series, Pandya had managed Indian team T20I whenever Rohit was unavailable.
“I never managed junior cricket either. When I was under 16 I managed Baroda. After that everyone thought I should focus on my game. Since then I haven’t haven’t led (a team),” Pandya added. .

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