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‘Before Hardik Pandya joined GT…’: Ashish Nehra sets record straight on captaincy expectation from Shubman Gill

Shubman Gill will aim to emulate Hardik Pandya is his debut IPL season as captain of Gujarat Titans

Hardik Pandya’s shock decision to depart from Gujarat Titans (GT) in December last year, after two successful seasons in the Indian Premier League (IPL), saw the franchise promote young Shubman Gill for the captaincy role for the 2024 season of the IPL. 2023 was the year for Gill, having notched up a plethora of runs across formats, including in IPL, and hence, it only seemed a logical call from the Titans. However, as the tournament nears, there have been discussions Gill’s inexperience in the leadership role, but head coach Ashish Nehra set the record straight in what he expects for the youngster as a captain.

Shubman Gill will lead Gujarat Titans in IPL 2024

“As a new captain, I want to see how he (Gill) operates and not just me, the whole India would like to see because he is that kind of a player,” the former left-arm seamer said.

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“He is looking to play and do well in all three formats, so we as a franchise would like to help him grow more as a person than as a captain. If he grows as a person, he will grow more as a captain going forward and get better and better,” the coach said.

Nehra further cited Hardik’s example, who was roped in by GT in 2022 and was named him the captain despite his inexperience in the role. The all-rounder did not just spark MS Dhoni comparisons with his leadership style, he led the Titans to a title win in their debut IPL season in 2022 before they ended as runner-up in 2023.

ALSO READ: ‘I could have stopped Hardik had he…’: Ashish Nehra’s sharp IPL warning after Pandya’s ‘football-style’ MI transfer

“Before Hardik joined GT, he had no prior experience of captaining any side. There are 10 IPL teams and you will see more and more new captains. Shreyas Iyer and even Nitish Rana did captaincy for KKR. Let’s see which guy capitalises moving ahead,” Nehra said.

Nehra and Gill’s biggest challenge through the course of the tournament would be to find a replacement for Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out of the tournament owing to a surgery on his achillies tendon and, Rashid Khan, who is recovering from a back surgery.

“IPL is now a 12-people game (Impact Player added) and to fill in Hardik and Shami’s shoes, it is not going to be easy but we have enough people. We have Umesh Yadav, who have been playing the IPL for more than 12 years,” Nehra said.


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