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Replacing Pandya is tough but Gill is the right person for GT captaincy: Nehra

New Delhi: Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra admitted that it will be tough to replace a multi-faceted player like Hardik Pandya but banked on Shubman Gill to shoulder the responsibility of leading the side in next year’s IPL.

Pandya recently returned to Mumbai Indians and has been appointed as the skipper of the five-time champions.

“To replace a player like Hardik Pandya is difficult considering his talent and experience. We have seen how he (Gill) has shaped up in the past three-four years. He is 24-25 years of age but he has a good head on his shoulders,” Nehra said in a virtual post-auction press meet on Tuesday night.

The former India pacer said the franchise will back Gill irrespective of the results in the next edition of the IPL.

“We believe in him. That is why we made him captain. I am not someone who will always go by results. Yes, results are important but when you come to captaincy you have to look at other things also. We are confident that Gill is the right person for captaincy,” Nehra added.

The Titans battled intensely in the auction room in Dubai to buy Mitchell Starc before Kolkata Knight Riders purchased the Australian pacer for a record Rs 24.75 crore.

Nehra wasn’t surprised at the big paycheck which Starc attracted.

“There is nothing like being over priced in the IPL. Everybody knows what Starc can do. He is a proven player. We needed a fast bowler and every team had different strategies. We have to be satisfied with what we have. For a bowler like Starc, I don’t think that is a surprise,” he said.

Happy with pacers:

MI head coach Mark Boucher was delighted at the pace attack that they have managed to assemble from the auction.

Mumbai signed South African quick Gerald Coetzee, who had a fine ODI World Cup recently, and Sri Lanka’s left-arm pacer Dilshan Madhushanka on Tuesday.

“We made the decision to go for him (Coetzee) because he is a young, up and coming superstar. While Madhushanka is a three-phase bowler.”

“He (Madhushanka) swings the new ball and has good change ups at the death. I’m sure he’ll add a lot of value to our team,” said Boucher.

Excited to work Brook:

Delhi Capitals bought aggressive England middle-order batter Harry Brook for Rs 4 crore and head coach Ricky Ponting said he was excited at the prospect of working with him.

“I am excited about working with Harry Brook. He’s one of the most talented international cricketers at the moment. He was our number one priority in this year’s auction and we managed to acquire him at a great figure,” said Ponting.

Siraj is our lead bowler:

Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Andy Flower pinned his hopes on experienced Mohammed Siraj to lead the side’s pace battery in the next IPL.

“Siraj will lead the attack and him being fit and firing is going to be very important for us. I think we’ve got some really skilful young Indian bowlers there, who are going to be growing with us,” Flower said.

Flower said Australian all-rounder Cameron Green will add meat to RCB’s batting order.

“Cameron Green gives us that power somewhere in that top five, though we haven’t decided exactly where he is going to bat,” he added.

(Published 20 December 2023, 07:09 IST)

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