IPL 2023, CSK vs GT: India World Cup star reveals ‘ideal impact player’ ahead of opening clash

IPL captains: CSK’s MS Dhoni, GT’s Hardik Pandya, MI’s Rohit Sharma, RR’s Sanju Samson, DC’s David Warner, LSG’s KL Rahul, PBKS’ Shikhar Dhawan, RCB’s Faf Du Plesis | Photo: ANI

IPL 2023 latest news: The Indian Premier League’s 2023 season is set to get underway with a blockbuster opening clash between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. Captain cool MS Dhoni’s CSK will take on star all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s GT who are the defending IPL champions. Ahead of the opening fixture, former India speed star Zaheer Khan has revealed his take on who would be the ‘ideal impact player’.

Khan has chosen GT captain Hardik Pandya as the ‘ideal impact’ player, showering praise on the India star. Zak praised Pandya’s “all-round versatility” recalling how he had exploded during the IPL 2015 season when he was playing for Mumbai Indians. Pandya is a five-time IPL winner, winning four with Mumbai and leading Gujarat Titans to their maiden win in the franchise’s debut season.

Talking about one of the top players to watch this IPL, Zaheer said, “If you talk about an impact player, Hardik is the ideal impact player. In the situation where he bats, at number five or six, it is not easy, especially in this format where you have to use the last three or four overs to bat at a particular strike rate, while facing ten to twelve deliveries.”

“That’s his specialty. His hand speed is exceptional and for a batter to have that hand speed and catch the ball, very few players can actually do that. Even when bowling, he can bowl at any phase, he is an all-phase bowler which is an asset,” Zaheer was quoted as saying by Sports18.

The former swing king also praised Pandya’s leadership ability, “If you look at the previous IPL, what we saw was that Hardik had never captained before. That was an advantage for Ashish Nehra as well because when you haven`t been a captain before, you want to learn the most about it. That’s why Nehra and Pandya`s partnership emerged as the Jodi No. 1 last season.”


(Inputs from PTI)

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