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Hardik Pandya never looked out of depth: Gautam Gambhir

NEW DELHI: Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir feels there are more important things in life than cricket and its wins and losses.

In his column for the Times of India, the former Indian opener wrote, “For me the best shot of the IPL final happened minutes after Mumbai Indians won the title. Their captain Rohit Sharma was having some cuddle time with his daughter Samaira. Sitting on his lap no one knows what the little princess was thinking. Later, he held his bundle of joy. I am convinced no number of trophies can beat the feeling of a father holding his daughter aloft. Life is so much more than just cricket and its wins and losses.”

Gambhir credited Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians for excelling under pressure and keeping faith in their players even though they are failing with the bat.

“All teams that qualified for the playoffs deserved to win the title. For sheer perseverance and ability to handle pressure Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians deserved it more than others. You may say that Sunrisers Hyderabad were fractured by the absence of their foreign recruits and Delhi lost due to some inexperience. I don’t buy these excuses. Mumbai and Chennai are good because they work to a plan, a strategy. Win or lose they don’t deviate. Look at how Chennai has continued to play Ambati Rayudu despite a not so consistent performance this season. Another example is Shane Watson, who too was having an off-season before he came into his own. Even in the final on Sunday he almost took his team home. Same goes for how Mumbai never lost hope in Ishan Kishan. When I was leading KKR I always maintained that we never drop a player, we only select a playing eleven,” Gambhir added.

Gambhir lauded Hardik Pandya for excelling in this IPL season after his controversial comments on a talk show on TV.

“Other bit that stands out for me is how Mumbai identifies their talent pool. The Pandyas are an example. They were picked out of nowhere and developed into a real force. Honestly, I was worried how the Mumbai team management would react to Hardik’s talk show fiasco. Team owners can be very sensitive to such things but all credit to them for how the whole thing was handled. Hardik never seemed out of depth or out of confidence. I am not advocating what he said on the talk show, I am merely stating that Hardik and important stakeholders in his life handled the whole thing really well. Delhi Capitals should be proud to have made to the playoffs. They need some solid talent scouting to have a bigger pool which will stop their dependence on the likes of Rabada or others,” Gambhir signed off.

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