Why Hardik is not captaining GT in KKR tie? Stand-in skipper Rashid Khan reveals – Hindustan Times

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Defending champions Gujarat Titans couldn’t have asked for a better start to their title-defense campaign as they won both their first two games in IPL 2023. On Sunday, at home, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, GT are all set to take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), but it was Rashid Khan who walked out during toss, implying that regular skipper Hardik Pandya will be absent form the match. Rashid, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, revealed the reason behind Hardik’s absence. (GT vs KKR Live Score, IPL 2023)
The stand-in skipper revealed that Hardik was feeling unwell and the management didn’t want to risk getting the star all-rounder injured with a long tournament ahead.
“Just unwell slightly, don’t want to take risks with him,” said Rashid after GT won the toss and opted to bat first at home. GT’s line-up hence comprised of only a solitary change – Vijay Shankar in for Hardik.
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“Iooks like a fresh wicket, hopefully we can put up a good total and defend it. As a team we will try to play good cricket. We would like to bat well and put runs on the board,” Rashid added, in explanation to GT’s decision to bat first.
Kolkata, on the other hand, made two changes for the match – Lockie Ferguson in for Tim Southee and Mandeep Singh made way for Jagadeesan.
“We wanted to bat first as well because of the weather and conditions. I felt defending might be easier. We had in our minds that batting first would be the way to go so that our spinners can make use of the surface in the second half but it’s okay,” KKR captain Nitish Rana said.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), N Jagadeesan, Nitish Rana(c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Suyash Sharma, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy
Gujarat Titans (Playing XI): Wriddhiman Saha(w), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Abhinav Manohar, Rashid Khan(c), Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal
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