RCB’s Dinesh Karthik picks Gujarat Titans as team to watch out for in IPL 2022
Veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik reckons new franchise Gujarat Titans are the team to watch out for at the forthcoming IPL 2022. Karthik made an interesting remark for the Hardik Pandya led Titans, calling them the side that is meant to surprise a lot of people.
Notably, the experienced cricketer talked up the Titans’ chances in the competition even as he himself rejoins the immensely popular Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the season.
The 36-year-old, who was not retained by two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), was bought at the mega auction in February for a sum of INR 5.5 crores.
But despite his allegiance with RCB, Dinesh Karthik didn’t censor his opinion on Titans, who he is very keen to see play under an unabashed and flamboyant character like Pandya.
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“I am very keen to see how Gujarat Titans go” – Dinesh Karthik
Seemingly a firm believer in leadership influence, Dinesh Karthik said he is excited to see how Titans play with Pandya at the helm of affairs. Titans signed the former Mumbai Indians (MI) fast-bowling allrounder at INR 15 crores before the mega auction and later appointed him as captain for the season.
“For me, I am very keen to see how Gujarat Titans go because personally, I feel Hardik Pandya is a very interesting choice as captain. He has all the flamboyance [and] whether he can transfer that into his teammates [remains to be seen],” said Karthik, Pandya’s close friend and India teammate.
“He’s somebody who’s very confident about his abilities and in many ways, walks the talk. It will be very interesting to see his kind of leadership, the way he takes that team forward,” he added.
For Pandya, it will be his first stint in IPL as captain. A surprising non-retention by MI, the cricketer is making a fresh start to his career in many ways after taking a prolonged break from all cricket since the end of the T20 World Cup last November.
The cricketer has been working extensively at his fitness in a wholehearted effort to resume bowling at full tilt for India and in the IPL. Pandya has found it a struggle on the bowling front since his comeback from a lower back surgery back in October 2019.
“He’s got all the skills that have been in great all-rounders who’ve done well for their countries,” Dinesh Karthik said. “He’s got [a] great attitude, obviously he’s a very flashy batsman, I am very, very sure he’s going to be bowling in this IPL and we all know he’s a terrific fielder so personally, he’s going to be in a good nick.”
“But… he’s the leader of a team now so how he’s able to guide the youngsters is going to be a very interesting watch this season,” Karthik concluded.