Possible Replacement of Hardik Pandya For Gujarat Titans | IPL 2024

Possible Replacement of Hardik Pandya for GT in IPL 2024: Who is the Best Player to Fit the Indian All-Rounder’s Role?

Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan feels that there is a possible replacement of Hardik Pandya for Guarat Titans in IPL 2024. Since Hardik Pandya left Gujarat Titans after the trade ahead of the IPL 2024 auction, there has been a lot of confusion about the perfect replacement for the Indian all-rounder.

Recently, Indian opening batsman Shubman Gill has been appointed as the Gujarat Titans’ new skipper.

Gill as a debutant captain in the IPL has a huge challenge if he could prove to be the true successor of Hardik Pandya by proving his excellence in captaincy.

Also, Kane Williamson had the maximum chance of becoming the new skipper of Gujarat Titans. Nevertheless, the management preferred Gill as their first choice.

After Hardik Pandya’s return to Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Titans have a purse value remaining of 38.15 crores INR. Compared to the other franchises, Gujarat Titans have the highest purse value remaining ahead of the IPL 2024 auction.

However, Gujarat Titans managed to find a skipper in Hardik Pandya’s place by appointing Shuman Gill. Nevertheless, the ideal replacement of Hardik Pandya as a medium pacer and explosive finishing batsman remains uncertain.

It is a fact that no international player can perfectly fit into the role of Hardik Pandya.

But, Irfan Pathan feels that Afghanistan’s all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai can perfectly fit into Hardik Pandya’s role.

Moreover, Azmatullah Omarzai is yet to make his IPL debut in the forthcoming edition. The former Indian cricketer’s opinion left fans doubted such as:

  1. What made Irfan Pathan feel Azmatullah Omarzai as the possible replacement of Hardik Pandya for GT in IPL 2024?
  2. How Azmatullah Omarzai can match Hardik Pandya’s experience in IPL?
  3. Is Azmatullah Omarzai’s T20I records impressive?
  4. How Gujarat Titans can utilize the all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai along with Rashid Khan?
  5. Does Azmatullah Omarzai’s finishing skills almost match similar to that of Hardik Pandya?

The above queries of many cricket fans will be discussed in detail…

 Is Azmatullah Omarzai the Best Replacement of Hardik Pandya for GT in IPL 2024? Reasons for Irfan Pathan’s Opinion

Here are the reasons why Irfan Pathan felt Azmatullah Omarzai could be the potential replacement of Hardik Pandya for GT in IPL 2024:

1. Requirement for a fast bowler:

Though Rashid Khan is an all-rounder with good records in IPL, Gujarat Titans’ requirement for a fast bowler has been at stake.

Rashid Khan with his proven ability as a right-handed batsman and spin bowler, could only replace Hardik Pandya as a finishing batsman, but not as a medium pacer.

2. Brilliant performance in the CWC 2023 tournament:

Notably, Azmatullah Omarzai was exceptional with his all-round performance in the World Cup 2023 tournament.

Omarzai accumulated a total of 353 runs in 9 innings and took 7 wickets. Furthermore, he was the 22nd-highest-scoring batsman in the tournament.

Particularly, his best performance of an unbeaten 97-run-knock against South Africa guided his team to a total of 244-10 in 50 overs. However, his efforts were overshadowed when South Africa chased the target with a 5-wicket win.

3. Extra Purse Value remaining:

As Gujarat Titans, have a high purse value compared to other franchises, Azmatullah Omarzai could be the replacement of Hardik Pandya for GT in terms of fast bowling options.

Omarzai as an additional pacer, grants the option for Gujarat Titans to strengthen their bowling line-up along with Mohammed Shami.

4. Explosive Finisher:

Based on his performance against South Africa in CWC 2023, Azmatullah Omarzai has the potential to revive his team from a collapsing start.

Moreover, Omarzai is one such explosive batsman and finisher who can accumulate huge runs for his team in the death overs. 

Can Azmatullah Omarzai Possible Replacement of Hardik Pandya for Gujarat Titans in IPL 2024: Career Stats in limited overs cricket

Azmatullah Omarzai made his debut in international cricket by playing his first ODI match against Ireland on 21st January 2021.

Whereas Omarzai marked his first T20I appearance against Bangladesh on 3rd March 2022.

T20 international matches: In T20Is, Azmatullah Omarzai played 24 international matches and scored 185 runs in 14 innings. This includes his highest score of 33 runs. On the other side, Omarzai grabbed only 11 wickets in 22 T20I innings.

ODI matches: In ODIs, the Afghanistan all-rounder’s contribution with the bat includes 490 runs in 16 innings. It includes 4 half-centuries with his best score of 97 runs scored in the CWC 2023 tournament against the Proteas. Similarly, Omarzai grabbed only 13 wickets in 22 ODI innings.

Overall, a player like Azmatullah Omarzai having a year of experience in T20Is wouldn’t be a perfect replacement for Hardik Pandya. Moreover, Hardik Pandya has an experience of 7 years in T20Is and 9 years in IPL.

Conclusively, it would be challenging for Azmatullah Omarzai to keep up with Irfan Pathan’s statement to fulfill the absence of Hardik Pandya.

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