IPL 2023: Impact Player rule has made captains' job quite difficult - Hardik Pandya

The Gujarat Titans skipper made an interesting comment after first-hand experience of marshalling his bowling resources in the IPL 2023 opener. 
Hardik Pandya?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

At a time when everyone seems to assume the new introduction has given teams a great luxury, Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya believes the 'Impact Player' rule has actually made things difficult for captains on the field. Pandya was speaking from first-hand experience of the rule after the end of his team's successful opener of the IPL 2023 on Friday (March 31). 

As the ruling goes, teams are allowed to name one of four substitutes as their 'Impact Player' for the game and bring him in play at any stage of the contest. This player, who must be an Indian unless teams field three overseas player, could have a huge positive influence on matches. 

But the Titans skipper chose to speak from a captain's perspective about it, especially as he found deploying his bowlers their due number of over a problem in their win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Ahmedabad. The bone of contention was GT playing almost seven bowling options, which meant that left-arm pacer Yash Dayal finished with just over in the first half. 

Speaking at the post-match presentation, when asked what was the idea behind taking off Dayal, one of Titans' biggest positives from their triumphant IPL 2022, after just over, Hardik Pandya cited the new 'Impact Player' rule to explain his misery as skipper, stating that the rule makes it difficult for captains to ascertain options at particular stages. 

Hardik Pandya on the 'Impact Player' 

"To be very honest, having this impact rule makes my job quite difficult because when you have too many options, you have to pick the right option, and I think because of this reason, someone will bowl less," Pandya said. 

Dayal lost out to West Indies' express speedster Alzarri Joseph with his quota of overs. At the 13th over mark in the first half, with CSK firm grip of the contest with bat in hand, both the pace mates had bowled just a solitary over. 

Watch: MS Dhoni's massive six off 141kph delivery in the final over against Gujarat Titans

But then Joseph enjoyed his skipper's instinctive backing and bowled a superb three-over burst for just 15 runs with two wickets. It was this spell that helped the Titans restrict CSK to a more manageable 178/7 when they looked like reaching 200 at one stage.

"I had to just pick and kind of back [my instinct], where I felt that going hard lengths was the plan for me, and it kind of worked, so yeah, some of the bowlers came late but they did the job for us," Pandya added.