IPL 2022, Hardik Pandya likely to lead Ahmedabad team: Reports
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya could lead the newly-introduced Ahmedabad franchise in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Veteran journalist K Shriniwas Rao informed about the development on Twitter. Pandya, who was a part of the Mumbai Indians setup for several seasons, hasn't been retained by the five-time champions. As per reports, the Ahmedabad franchise is also planning to sign Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
Why does this story matter?
- In October 2021, the RPSG group (Lucknow) and CVC Capital (Ahmedabad) acquired the ownership rights of the two new IPL franchises.
- The BCCI also announced that the two new franchises can pick three players outside the auction.
- Both teams can pick the players until the end of January.
- The existing eight franchises have already announced their list of retained players.
Pandya played seven seasons for MI
Pandya made his IPL debut in 2015 for Mumbai Indians. After seven seasons, the Indian all-rounder has amassed 1,476 runs from 92 matches at an average of 27.33. He also owns 42 wickets with the best match haul of 3/20. MI didn't retain Pandya for the 2022 edition. Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, and Kieron Pollard were their picks.
Pandya has struggled in recent times
Pandya hasn't been at his best of late. He has operated a specialist batter after recovering from his lower-back injury. In the 2020 IPL edition, he racked up just 281 runs at 35.12. He mustered only 127 runs in the 2021 IPL season. Pandya hasn't been bowling due to his back issues. The Baroda all-rounder hasn't led an IPL franchise previously.
A look at other developments
Besides appointing Pandya the captain, the Ahmedabad franchise can also pick Rashid Khan and Ishan Kishan. Both players have proved their mettle for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians, respectively. As per reports, former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra could be roped in as the head coach of the Ahmedabad franchise. Nehra has worked with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the past.