Mumbai: Gary Kirsten, the batting coach, and mentor of the Ahmedabad franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has said that Hardik Pandya will be really motivated to show what he can do at the big stage as a leader. Ahmedabad has picked Hardik Pandya (Rs 15 crore), Rashid Khan (Rs 15 crore), and Shubman Gill (Rs 8 crore).
Vikram Solanki has been appointed as Ahmedabad’s Director of Cricket while Hardik Pandya will be leading the franchise. Gary Kirsten will serve as the batting coach and mentor of the Ahmedabad franchise while Ashish Nehra has been appointed as the head coach.
“I am looking forward to working with Hardik as a young and new captain. I think he will be really motivated to come in and make a plan and show what he is capable of at this level of the game as a leader.”
“He’s a great player. What I have heard is that he is really keen to get into the mix and get involved,” said Kirsten on Star Sports’ show ‘IPL Selection Day.
“I think he understands the importance of this tournament. What I have heard is that he is raring to go and get into the mix from a leadership perspective. So, I think that’s really exciting for us to have a player with such a level of skill, motivated to do well in this competition,” he added.
When asked about picking Rashid and Gill, Kirsten said: “I am really excited by both of them. They are both high performers – Rashid Khan has gone around the world, proven his value anywhere, so that’s an incredible signing for us. I am very excited to work with him – I haven’t yet – but I have seen him a lot, have met him a few times, but have never really worked with him.”
“So, I am looking forward to that. Certainly, watching him on the field, he’s a very competitive, young man that wants to do well for the franchise that he’s been involved in.”
“Gill is a fantastic player, who, in my view, should be playing for India. He is on the verge of that and has played already. With great flair and instinct for the game, he could be a match-winner on his own. From a batting perspective, I am looking forward to working with him and helping him give the best out of an IPL season.”
“We’re playing in the best competition in the world, just to make sure that’s it’s something important for us as a franchise and that the players come in and realize that it is an honour to be part of this franchise and performing for this team,” he added.
Talking about his role of batting coach and mentor, Kirsten said: “My role, designation is Team Mentor / Batting Coach, so I am going to have my hands full with handling a lot of work at ground level, but essentially, just to be assisting players in preparing them to be the best versions of themselves and the team that they are going to play.”
“I love the coaching and I am really looking forward to the role. I have journeyed a lot through IPL, of four years. I’ve been involved in a lot of short-format matches and got a decent understanding of what a team needs to do, how you need to find that winning flow, which is a priority in IPL.”
“IPL’s two new teams — Sanjiv Goenka RPSG Group for the Lucknow franchise and CVC Capital’s Ahmedabad team had received formal clearance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The formal clearance was given after a meeting of the IPL Governing Council.
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel had also confirmed that the IPL auction would be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. “Yes, the auction will be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13,” said Patel.