Hardik Pandya after GT reach IPL 2022 finals: I'm proud of David Miller
- GT defeated RR by 7 wickets in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2022
- David Miller remained unbeaten on 68
- GT have made it to the final in their maiden IPL campaign
Gujarat Titans (GT) captain Hardik Pandya heaped praise on David Miller, saying he was "proud" of the Proteas batsman after they reached the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 on Tuesday.
GT needed 16 off the final over and Miller struck three sixes to seal their victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 1 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Miller remained unbeaten on 68 off 38 balls in GT's chase of 189, his second half-century of the season. He had skipper Hardik on the other end who scored 40 not out off 27 balls.
After scoring just 14 runs off his first 10 deliveries, Miller went on to score 58 runs off his last 24 balls. The explosive hitter, who was named the Player of the Match, is currently sixth in the Orange Cap race with 449 runs in 15 matches at an average of 64.14 and at a strike rate of 141.19.
"It is all about that we respect this game. That's the conversation we had with Miller. Rashid [Khan] has been fantastic throughout, but I am more proud of David. I told him 'let's respect this game.' We goofed up against Mumbai Indians and wanted to respect the game here, even if we lose. But wanted both of us to finish," said Hardik at the post-match presentation.
Hardik went on to credit his family for the success he has tasted in his captaincy debut in the ongoing campaign.
"I have tried to balance things. I have had difficult times, certain situations, my body, and bubble life. But my son and my wife, and my brother - they have played a big role. They allowed me to be neutral," said Hardik, before adding he does not have "much feelings" after GT's first final of IPL.
"Right now, I don't have many feelings. I'm trying to be neutral. The only thing I was very proud of is that all 23 players are different personalities. They bring different things to the table. I just told Miller that if you have good people around you, you get good things. For our team, the genuine humans we have has allowed us to do well. I genuinely see that the boys outside the XI want the players to do well," added Hardik after GT's seven-wicket victory.
IPL 2022: I bat wherever the team needs me to, says Hardik Pandya
Speaking about his own form in the IPL, Hardik said that he wanted to bat wherever the team required him to be.
Hardik, who has promoted himself to No. 4 in GT's line-up, said," As a cricketer, I have always been the kind of player who will play wherever the team wants me to bat. I have not found success batting in my choice, I have found success in playing where the teams need me. We have a batting order where we need players to chip in. 20 runs can also be match-winning runs. We appreciate those 10-15 runs."
The Eliminator is set to take place between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Wednesday. The winner of the fixture will play against RR in Qualifier 2 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Friday (May 27). Whoever wins Qualifier 2 will face off against GT in the grand finale on Sunday.