Pandya recently guided Gujarat Titans to IPL glory by leading from the front and showed his captaincy and all-round skills in ample measure during the white-ball series against Ireland. He then played crucial roles in India defeating the Jos Buttler-led England to clinch the T20I and ODI series.
Manjrekar indicated that Gujarat Titans might have taken a huge risk by making Pandya skipper of the new IPL franchise, but the all-rounder has been a revelation, as he has not just marshalled his boys on the field, he has also played handy knocks and taken crucial wickets as the team lifted the IPL 2022 trophy.
“Absolutely, Hardik Pandya is a completely changed guy. It was a wildcard that the franchise played. First of all, picking him as one of their first players, before that his fitness was a problem, his batting was an issue for the earlier franchise (Mumbai Indians),” Manjrekar said on Sports18’s daily sports.
“Not only did they pick him, and back him as one of their marquee players they gave him the captaincy. Just the way the (IPL) league turned out for him. Hardik Pandya is a changed man now, there’s a lot of maturity, responsibility and ambition as well.”
Manjrekar also felt a person with ambition always has a good chance of excelling and he can see that trait in Pandya.
“I see a sense of ambition coming into him. And once you have that, wanting to grow within Indian Cricket then there’s tremendous motivation. He’s also addressing himself in third person now. Hardik Pandya has arrived.” (IANS)