Hardik Pandya has emerged as the ideal candidate for the position of captain of the Indian team after the IPL: Sunil Gavaskar

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Impressed with Hardik Pandya’s ‘leadership qualities’ in IPL-15, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes the all-around star has emerged as a strong contender to lead the Indian team in the near future.

Making a comeback after a subdued outing in the T20 World Cup last year, Hardik steered the Gujarat Titans to a memorable title triumph in a dream debut IPL season, forcing those who gave no chance for beginners before the tournament to eat a humble pie.

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“Yeah definitely. Not just my estimate, but everyone’s estimate (Hardik’s reputation as a leader went up). It was an aspect of his game that no one had too much information about,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

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“When you have leadership qualities, it automatically opens the door to honors at the national level to be able to captain the Indian national team in the near future. “So it’s exciting, there are 3-4 other names on the ring. I’m not saying he’s next. But for the selection committee to have this option is fantastic,” he added.

In a low-scoring final, Hardik played with both bat and ball (3/17 and 30-ball 34) to lead GT to a seven-wicket win over former champions Rajasthan Royals.

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Overall, he finished the campaign in IPL-15 with 487 runs and eight wickets.

“We all knew what he could do with the bat, what he could do with the ball, but there was just a bit of concern before the start of the season about whether he would be able to fill in. his full quota of four overs. He did it, he showed it, that versatile aspect is done and everyone is happy.

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“The way he led the team, the way he brought them together, the way he brought them together means he has leadership qualities,” he added.

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Winner of four IPL titles with the Mumbai Indians, this was Hardik’s first trophy as captain. Hardik also made a return to India on his IPL show this season and will be seen in the upcoming five-game T20I home series against South Africa under skipper KL Rahul.

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