IPL 2022 has thrown up plenty of surprises in the last two months. The heavyweights, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians finished at the bottom of the Points Table. The new entrants- Lucknow Super Giants and the Gujarat Titans, on the other hand, have put up a solid performance.
In fact, Gujarat Titans have been clinical, leading the Points Table and now are set to face Rajasthan Royals in the final of IPL 2022 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. In each victory, a different player has stepped up for Gujarat, which shows that they have played as a team.
3 reasons why Gujarat Titans can win IPL 2022
3. Match-Winners In The Batting Unit
With the bat, Gujarat Titans have produced some incredible performances so far in the season. Against CSK in Match 29 of IPL 2022, David Miller played an unbeaten knock of 94 runs off 51 balls to take the side home.
Shubman Gill against Delhi Capitals (Match 10- IPL 2022), scored 84 runs at a strike rate of 180+. In the match versus Punjab Kings (Match 16- IPL 2022), Gill made 96 runs off 59 balls. His knock consisted of 11 fours and 1 maximum.
Hardik Pandya’s form has also been a plus point for GT. Skipper has smashed four fifties so far in the ongoing season. In 14 matches which he has played, he has scored 453 runs. Against Rajasthan Royals (Match 24- IPL 2022), he played an unbeaten knock of 87 runs from 52 deliveries at a strike rate of 167.3. His knock propelled GT to 192/4. Before that, he scored an unbeaten fifty against SRH as well.
Against Chennai (Match 29), Rashid Khan was leading the side in absence of Hardik and he chose to play a captain’s knock with the bat. His innings of 40 runs in 21 balls switched the momentum in Gujarat’s favour when CSK bowlers were looking to run away with the game.
With 12 runs needed off 2 deliveries, Rahul Tewatia smashed two sixes to win the game for his team against Punjab Kings in Match 16 of IPL 2022.
2. Strong Bowling Attack
Gujarat Titans have one of the strongest bowling units in IPL 2022. The trio of Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan, and Lockie Ferguson in the Playing XI can make life difficult for any opposition.
In Gujarat’s opening game, Shami displayed his craft. He dismissed Lucknow Supergiants’ skipper KL Rahul on the first ball. Shami did not stop there, as he also removed Manish Pandey and Quinton de Kock during the powerplay overs.
In the match against Delhi Capitals, Lockie Ferguson registered figures of 4 for 28. Rashid Khan has also been phenomenal with the ball. Batters usually take a cautious approach against Rashid, which is why he doesn’t have many wickets currently. But the economy of 6.74 tells that the leggie has kept things tight. Hardik Pandya and Rahul Tewatia have also been handy with the ball so far.
1. Hardik Pandya leading the side from the front
Not much was known about Hardik Pandya’s ability as a captain before IPL 2022. But the all-rounder has impressed everyone by taking the right decisions in crunch situations in the tournament so far. Assistance from Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra (2 great mentors to have) would have definitely helped Hardik- the captain.
Former India batter Wasim Jaffer showered praise on Hardik Pandya. Talking on ESPNcricinfo, Jaffer said: “Every new captain had a question mark on him about how will he perform. Hardik Pandya has impressed the most among them. The responsibility he has taken in batting, the bowling fitness he has shown, taking the new ball, and delivering 140 kph speeds. Even when fielding he has affected a couple of runouts.”
Hardik was a part of Mumbai Indians for 7 years (2015-21). This has helped him to build great familiarity with Mumbai conditions, especially Wankhede Stadium. Since IPL 2022 is being played in Maharashtra, The specific knowledge of Hardik can give GT an edge in the tournament.