'Can he captain well?' - Aakash Chopra raises question on IPL captain ahead of season

Hardik Pandya's trade from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians was one of the talking points before IPL 2024.

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Few days are left for the start of 17th season of IPL and all the teams are in full flow in terms preparation and planning. The players have started to arrive at their respective camps in order to prepare for the prestigious tournament.

There have been some changes in the squads from the last season. One of them was Hardik Pandya’s trade. The all-rounder was traded from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians before the auction. Hardik Pandya did a terrific job as captain of Gujarat Titans. The Titans won the IPL in 2022 and finished as runners-up in 2023 under him.

But in the absence of Pandya, Gujarat Titans will be going with a new captain this season in the form of Shubman Gill. The youngster has no prior captaincy experience but he has been Titans’ best batter in the previous two seasons. Gill also emerged as the highest run-getter in IPL 2023 with 890 runs at a staggering average of 59.33.

Aakash Chopra on Shubman Gill’s new role

Former India opener Aakash Chopra has backed Shubman Gill to be successful in his new role. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that captaincy will be a new challenge for Gill and if he can tune well with Ashish Nehra, he will be successful.

"Opportunity - Shubman Gill, my rockstar player, DNA of greatness. But this is going to be a new challenge as you will be playing as a captain now. All of us have seen that he bats well. You are making him the captain now because he is your most important player in that side, but can he captain that well?" Chopra said.

"I feel the Gujarat Titans' captaincy strings are tied to Ashish Nehra. If that tuning is fine, which I feel will be the case, they will take the team forward. So, Shubman Gill will have a huge opportunity as a captain," Chopra opined.

Head coach Ashish Nehra is seen to be involved with the players even during a match and his attitude has been impressive. He will have a new challenge this year while working with the youngster Shubman Gill.

Aakash Chopra also noted that IPL 2024 will give discarded India pacer Umesh Yadav a chance to resurrect his career. Almost a year ago, Umesh was a part of India’s Test squad but he has been dropped from the team since the WTC final loss to Australia last year.

“Umesh Yadav has been almost discarded. No one was playing him and he has come to this team. The ball moves here under lights. He is a bowler who can pick up two or three wickets with the new ball and will do well under Ashish Nehra," Chopra explained.

Also read: 3 ways Gujarat Titans can cope with Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya's absence in IPL 2024

It will be interesting to see how Gujarat Titans cope without two of their best performers in the previous two seasons, Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami. Shami had a surgery last month and has been ruled out of the upcoming IPL season. Gujarat Titans will begin its IPL 2024 campaign against Mumbai Indians at Ahmedabad on March 24.

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