Sunil Gavaskar named a player capable of filling Hardik Pandya’s void at the Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Sunil Gavaskar said that Vijay Shankar can replicate Pandya’s game-changing abilities if he has learned from his former teammate.

The Gujarat Titans traded Hardik Pandya to the Mumbai Indians (MI) ahead of the IPL 2024 auction. Hardik led the team to the final in the first two editions of the tournament. The Ahmedabad-based franchise emerged victorious in their first season, followed by runners-up.

Shubman Gill has taken over as the captain of the GT team. The franchise spent Rs 30.30 crore to secure eight players in the IPL 2024 auction, including notable signings such as Azmatullah Omarzai, Spencer Johnson, Shahrukh Khan, Umesh Yadav, and Robin Minz.

Vijay Shankar Would Have Learned So Much – Sunil Gavaskar

During a discussion on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar shared insights on the Gujarat Titans’ strategy following Hardik Pandya’s departure. Gavaskar said that while Shankar may not replicate Pandya’s impact, he could still significantly contribute to the team’s success.

“Vijay Shankar would have learned so much from Hardik Pandya. How Hardik Pandya adapted to a particular situation, how he bowled in certain situations, if he has learned from that, he can do pretty much what Hardik Pandya could do,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“Not maybe have the same kind of impact but even if he has about 80 or 90% of the impact and the game-changing abilities that Hardik Pandya had, he would have done wonderfully for his team,” he added.

Vijay Shankar made his debut for the Gujarat Titans during the IPL 2022 season. The Tamil Nadu cricketer scored 301 runs at a strike rate of 160.10 in 10 innings in the previous season. He didn’t bowl much in the last season due to the Impact Player rule introduction.

Gujarat Titans Have Done A Lot Of Homework – Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar expressed confidence in the bowling trio of Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, and Umesh Yadav for the upcoming season. He highlighted that Spencer Johnson brings left-handed variety to the bowling attack and enhances the team.

“At their age, bowling only four fours, and that too not in one spell, is a huge plus. Mohammed Shami has been nothing short of spectacular in white-ball cricket in the last year and a half. I expect him to bowl the same way, get the wickets at the top and towards the end by bowling those yorkers spot on.”

“Umesh Yadav too, with the experience that he has, will be able to get some early wickets, and Mohit Sharma was again a revelation. Spencer Johnson will bring the left-handed variety to the bowling attack. So clearly, the Gujarat Titans have done a lot of homework in getting their squad together.”

The Titans acquired Spencer Johnson for Rs. 10 crore in the previous auction. The left-arm Australian pacer has claimed 17 wickets in 20 T20 matches with an impressive economy rate of 7.84. However, despite his success in the Big Bash League and The Hundred, he remains relatively unproven at the highest level.

The Ahmedabad-based team also includes Joshua Little, a left-arm seamer, in its lineup. Little, who debuted last season, claimed 7 wickets in 10 IPL matches with an average of 42.0 and an economy rate of 8.65.

Also read: Not Rachin Ravindra! Sunil Gavaskar names Chennai Super Kings’ best buy in IPL 2024 Auction

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