- "What I have heard is that he is really keen to get into the mix and get involved."
- The franchise has also signed star Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and young Indian batter Shubman Gill.
- The Lucknow team has signed KL Rahul, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leggy Ravi Bishnoi.
Former India coach and Ahmedabad franchise team mentor Gary Kirsten feels Hardik Pandya is keen to show his leadership skills on the big stage and having a young and new captain will fare well for the side.
The flamboyant India all-rounder was roped in for Rs 15 crore and is set to lead the CVC-owned Ahmedabad team in the IPL.
"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," Kirsten said on Star Sports' 'IPL: Selection Day'.
"He's a great player. What I have heard is that he is really keen to get into the mix and get involved. I think he understands the importance of this tournament. 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," added Kirsten, who will also serve as the team's batting coach.
The franchise has also signed star Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and young Indian batter Shubman Gill and Kirsten was delighted with the duo's signing.
"I am really excited by both of them. They are both high performers.”
The South African was on lavish in his praise for Gill, who he feels has “great flair and instinct."
"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.
The 22-year-old Gill has already played 10 Tests and three ODIs but is yet to feature in a T20I for India.
"From a batting perspective, I am looking forward to working with him and helping him give the best out of an IPL season."
Rashid, on the other hand, has proved his mettle in several seasons of the IPL and various leagues across the world.
"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 few times.
"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," Kirsten said.
Rahul, Stoinis, Bishnoi because bring more than one facet: Goenka
The other new side in IPL -- the Lucknow team has signed India limited overs vice-captain KL Rahul, big hitting Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi as its draft picks and team owner Sanjiv Goenka said the reason for picking the trio is that they are multi-dimensional players.
"There were multiple things. We were looking at not only building a team for one or two seasons, as we did in the case of Pune, but actually, building the foundation for a team, which will compete successfully for many years," said Goenka on said on Star Sports' 'IPL: Selection Day.'
"We were also looking for players with more than one facet, so not singular-dimension players. So, KL is not only an outstanding batsman, he’s a great wicketkeeper.
Marcus is a great finisher, a good bowler, and a phenomenal fielder. Ravi brings a unique dimension to the spin department and is an exceptional fielder," he added.
Goenka said the two main focus while selecting players was longevity and multi-dimensionalism.
"So, we looked for players, who could do more than just one thing; players who would be with the franchise for several years - three, four, five, six, seven, eight years.
"And KL is in the batting department, Marcus is an all-rounder and Ravi is a bowler, so we have tried to cover all the three departments."