Having played under both MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans (GT) spinner Sai Kishore believes that both of them are quite similar as captains. Sair Kishore picked up six wickets in five Indian Premier League (IPL) games last year as GT went on to clinch their maiden IPL title.
“Hardik and Mahi bhai [MS Dhoni] are pretty similar in the way they handle things, they both are pretty calm,” Sai Kishore told the media during a virtual interaction session on Friday (March 24).
“One thing that I really admire about Hardik is his ability to handle success and failure equally – that is something very unique about him. He is a level-headed guy and that works [for him],” he added.
The 26-year-old is hopeful that GT will replicate their performances last year and go on to make it two in two.
“The tag of being defending champions is up to us whether to take it or not. We played well last year and that is why we won. I think if we can do that [then] the tag won’t matter much,” he said.
Speaking of the new impact player rule, Sai Kishore feels that the rule introduced in the IPL this season will work far better than the rules that were implemented in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where a replacement player could be brought only till the 14th over.
“It is more like the super-sub rule where we can either use a bowler or a batsman. It is basically like playing with 12 people. We have already played with this [rule] in domestic [cricket]. The only change is that we can use it till the 20th over, in domestic it was restricted to the 14th over. In 20 overs, it should be a lot easier to handle,” the left-arm spinner said.
The Tamil Nadu spinner reckons he could make a case for himself to play for the national side with a good performance in the IPL but admits he has to work on his batting for that to materialise.
“Yes, there are a lot of left-arm spinners in India and this [IPL] is a very good opportunity but I would like to be here now in the present and play well for Gujarat. In the last five years, my skill-set has gone up and I want to keep improving. If it happens that I do very well in the IPL, I am going to play for India,” he said.
Speaking of his batting, Sai Kishore reckons that it is still a work in progress. “It is a work in progress. I have done well in domestic [cricket] also. I know the areas where I am good at and areas where I need to work on. I am trying to put in hours into my batting and fielding,” he said.
GT kickstart their IPL 2023 campaign against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday (March 31) at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.