Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 25 (ANI): Gujarat Titans (GT) stormed into the final of the Indian Premier League 2022 (IPL) on Tuesday, defeating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets in the first qualifier, GT skipper Hardik Pandya heaped praise on David Miller for his match-winning knock.
David Miller played a ballistic knock of 68 from 38 balls and captain Hardik Pandya's 40 off 27 balls guided debutants Gujarat Titans to a seven-wicket win over the inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.
"I am genuinely proud of the way he has lifted his game. He is genuinely a damn good guy. I was proud to play with him, and enjoy it. He is simply such a wonderful guy, I always wanted good things to happen to him," Hardik Pandya said in a press conference.
Miller struck five sixes, including three in the final over when 17 runs were needed in a thrilling chase of 189 as Gujarat Titans became the 3rd team to reach the final in their debut season.
Talking about the star of the GT's victory David Miller, who was a part of the Rajasthan Royals team last year, has emerged as a match-winner for the Titans, Hardik said, "It kind of shows that if you show love and importance to a particular player, he can flourish and how! A lot of people counted David Miller out, but for us, he was a match-winner from the time we bought him in the auction. It was important to give him that importance, and clarity of what we expect from him. If he fails, it's okay, it's just a game"
His relaxed attitude as a skipper has often been compared to Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but Hardik is pleased to have built an image of his own. "Mahi bhai has played a big role in my life. He is a dear friend, a brother and a family to me. I have learnt a lot of good things from him. But for me, it was more about being individually strong, which I am proud of myself, and how I have been able to manage all the parts," he said.
"Before taking up captaincy also, I took all the situations with a cool head. If you think cool-headed, you usually make better decisions. For me, it has been important in both cricket and life that it is better to think for 10 extra seconds rather than rushing things."
Talking about the whines that he faced over his injuries and form in the past, Hardik said, "As far as other talks are concerned, what to do? People will say what they have to. I think with Hardik Pandya, news sells more. I laugh it off..."
Gujarat Titans will now wait to see who among Lucknow Super Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals meet them in the final clash in Ahmedabad on May 29. (ANI)