Hardik Pandya hailed Shubman Gill's century to put Gujarat Titans in the final of IPL 2023 as "one of the finest" knocks he has ever seen in a T20 game.
Gill's 129 off 60 balls helped Titans to their second successive IPL final and knocked Mumbai Indians out in the second Qualifier in Ahmedabad.
When asked about the biggest change in Gill from last year, Hardik, his captain, said, "The clarity this year he has. The confidence which he is carrying is amazing. The innings which I saw today was one of the finest innings I have seen in a T20 game."
Gill made the highest individual score in the IPL playoffs - after being dropped on 30 in the powerplay. He struck seven fours and ten sixes during his stay and powered Titans to 233 for 3, which proved 62 too many for Mumbai.
"At no point of time he looked rushed, at no point he looked like he was not in control," Hardik said. "It looked as if someone was throwing down the balls and he was just hitting. He is a superstar and is going to do big things to franchise cricket and Indian cricket."
Tilak Varma led Mumbai's attack with the bat early, hitting five fours and three sixes in his 14-ball 43 before Surykumar Yadav struck a quickfire half-century. Rashid Khan struck the telling blow by dismissing the free-flowing Varma and returned two wickets for Titans.
"When things are not going the way I like," Hardik said, "he [Rashid] is someone who comes and changes momentum and makes sure we keep getting wickets. That's the beauty. We have spoken enough about Rashid but sometimes I am short of words for what he does."
Titans will now take on Chennai Super Kings for the title in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Hardik credited his team-mates for taking ownership while also acknowledging the effort they put in every day.
"My job is simple in the team - I make sure that the boys are in the right frame of mind and it starts from me. If I lead with example in my energy, it feeds off to the boys and that is something I look forward. Every individual takes ownership.
"A lot of hardwork has gone behind it. Irrelevant of the result, if we put our 100% and try our level best, the knockouts are fun it can go here or there."