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Hardik Pandya's style of captaincy has often been compared to that of MS Dhoni, especially the way both have exuded composure in pressure situations in the Indian Premier League. In a pre-season media interview, Gujarat Titans spinner R Sai Kishore joined the conversation and said that his Titans captain Pandya is a lot like Dhoni in the way they handle things.
Kishore said, “Hardik and Mahi bhai are quite similar in the way they handle things, both are quite calm. One thing I really admire about Hardik is his ability to cope with both success and failure, that is something very unique about him. He's a balanced guy who works."
Gujarat Titans won the title in their first season in IPL 2022 and Kishore said they will have to repeat last year's performance to be successful this time. He said: “The sign of being the defending champion is up to us to take it or not. We played well last year and that's why we won. I think if we can do that, the brand won't matter much."
Kishore also spoke about the newly introduced 'Impact Player' rule in the tournament. He said: “It's more like a super-sub rule where we can use a bowler or a putter. It's basically like playing in 12 people. We've already played with it at home. The only change is that we can use it until the 20th end, domestically it was limited to the 14th end.”
The Tamil Nadu spinner has represented his state in 118 matches and is eyeing a place in the senior Indian team with his performances in the IPL. He finished as Tamil Nadu's highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy this year with 29 scalps in six matches. Kishore said, “There are a lot of left-arm spinners in India and this is a very good opportunity, but I would like to be here now in the presence and play well for Gujarat. Over the past five years, my skills have increased and I want to keep improving. If I happen to do very well in the IPL, I will play for India."
Sai Kishore admitted that he needs to improve his batting to make it into the national reckoning. He said: “It is a work in progress. I also did well at home. I know the areas I am good at and the areas I need to work on. I try to put in my batting and batting hours,” he said.
“In the IPL and above, you go, you want to bat at the top. In Tamil Nadu, I had the luxury of batting at the top in a few games. Batting over death requires more work and focus. Finding a pattern or formula for fast runs is what I am working on,” concluded Sai Kishore.
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