Instead of winning the title again, Mumbai Indians gave it away to Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022. The team is captained by Hardik Pandya and coached by Ashish Nehra. This win is also Hardik’s 5th IPL title, and first as a captain, having won all previous five with the Mumbai Indians.
To understand what made Gujarat Titans become the second team to win the IPL in their very first season, we want to mention their background first.
What Gujarat Titans Did Ahead
Gujarat Titans have chosen to retain three players ahead of the 2022 mega-auction. All-rounder Hardik Pandya led the side drafted for ₹15 crores, bowler Rashid Khan snapped for ₹15 crores and batsman Shubman Gill drafted for ₹8 crores.
- Hardik Pandya (All-rounder)
- Rashid Khan (Bowler)
- Shubman Gill (Batter)
After drafting three players for Gujarat Titans by spending ₹38 crores, they had the remaining purse of ₹52 crores ahead of the 2022 mega auction. The franchise is allowed to have a total purse of ₹90 crores.
There were 22 slots opened (for building a squad of 25 players), and 7 of these could be overseas players.
In addition, Gujarat Titans have signed 18 more new players in the two-day IPL 2022 mega auction. New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson (base price – ₹2 crores) was their most expensive purchase, for whom they spent ₹10 crore. Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans (GT) have picked up 7 players by paying ₹33.15 crores on day 1 of the IPL 2022 mega auction, including 3 overseas players.
- Lockie Ferguson (Bowler)
- Rahul Tewatia (All-rounder)
- Mohammad Shami (Seam Bowler)
- R Sai Kishore (Spin Bowler)
- Abhinav Manohar Sadarangani (Batter)
- Jason Roy (Batter)
- Noor Ahmad (Spin Bowler)
Now, we are going to review those keymen who led the Gujarat Titans’ triumph.
Hardik Pandya as an Inspirational Captain
Hardik Pandya was keen to repay that faith shown in him by Gujarat Titans. He did so by having one his best seasons with the bat, bowled effectively too. He was an inspirational figure as captain of the team, sometimes even around the entire GT supporters.
Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop took to Twitter to praise Hardik with a high compliment. He also highlighted the fact that Hardik Pandya is a great asset for any team once he starts bowling.
“Hardik Pandya is now a ‘four-dimensional’ cricketer.”says Kiran More.
Even the former wicket-keeper batter Kiran More shows his praise on GT’s captain Hardik Pandya, saying that the star all-rounder has now become a “four-dimensional” cricketer.
Shubman Gill’s Notable Performance
Shubman Gill goes into the final as Gujarat Titans’ second-highest run-scorer, four runs behind Hardik Pandya. The notable change in his numbers is in the strike-rate. Contrary to the last three editions, when his strike-rate was below 125, Gill has gone at a rate of 136.02 while averaging over 30.
Importantly, in a slightly bowling-heavy side, he has held together the batting while stepping up the rate when needed as an anchor.
Rashid Khan as a Game-changer
Rashid Khan continues to be an impeccable force for Gujarat Titans and it reflected last night in a game where the rest of his colleagues struggled to put a leash on the scoring rate. Rashid’s four overs went for just 15 runs, an economy rate of just 3.5 runs per over. On the flip side, the rest of the Gujarat bowlers combined for 173 runs in 16 overs, an economy rate of 10.81.
Without Rashid’s incredible spell, Rajasthan Royals would have almost certainly crossed 200 in the first innings. Eventually, in the entire game, Rashid and Hardik Pandya were the only bowlers to bowl at under eight runs per over. However, Hardik, who clocked seven runs per over, did not complete his spell. The impact of Rashid’s spell was felt in hindsight as Gujarat Titans won in the final over of the game where 16 runs were needed for a win.
Gujarat Titans might have Hardik Pandya and Shubman Gill in the top run-scorers list now, but it’s worth mentioning that at the end of the playoffs stage, where they finished as the top ranked team with 10 wins in 14 games, they did not have a single player in the top 10 run-scorers. The likes of Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia and Matthew Wade or Sai Sudarshan have stepped up in strife time and again.
The teamwork in their batting is reflected from the fact that they have four players with more than 300 runs in the season, the joint-most by any team, and three players with over 400 runs, again the joint-most by any team. At this stage, Gujarat Titans have also hit the least number of sixes by any team (75) in the season, but they have managed to score it when it matters the most. 13 of those 75 have come in the final over of the game, the most by any team in the 20th over this season.
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