Gujarat Titans defend IPL title
Hardik Pandya knows how to win titles after playing for the most successful IPL franchise.

The accomplishment of winning successive IPL trophies held by the two most prestigious and successful teams thus far could be broken this season by Gujarat Titans. Only the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians have won two straight IPL titles, and Gujarat Titans are vying to become only the third side to do it this season. They have formed their team around their core players from last season. Captain Hardik Pandya has not been at his best, but his captaincy has not suffered. His tenacity with some of his players and his Dhoni-like mentality have sculpted his team’s chances to qualify once more. This season’s halfway through, and they sit atop the premier league points table, having lost just two games of their eight matches.

Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan, Wriddiman Saha, Mohammed Shami, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, and Hardik Pandya form their backbone. After a successful season, they continued with it and added some quick bowlers and young Indian batsmen to their roster, with most of them making significant contributions. Vijay Shankar and B.Sai Sudarshan of Tamil Nadu have two half-centuries each, and other youngsters like Abhinav Manohar, Noor Ahmed, and Joshua Little have already produced match-winning contributions.

GT appear to be undefeatable this season, thanks to the combined genius of Ashish Nehra’s off-field shenanigans and Hardik’s on-field spookiness. They have picked up where they left off last season and started their winning streak. Let’s look at five reasons they’re likely to win their second IPL title in a row.

1. Hardik Pandya’s captaincy

Hardik Pandya knows how to win titles after playing for the most successful IPL franchise. His captaincy is similar to that of the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as he has openly admitted to admiring CSK’s method of cultivating players, trusting their core, and creating the squad around them. He is confident in his strategy and selection of players for relevant matches. He brought in Mohit Sharma and Joshua Little at the right time, and both have already been named Man of the Match. Some of his team preferences, such as selecting appropriate players and sticking with them, have earned him the top spot in this season’s IPL. They are a complete team with sufficient bench strength to advance further.

2. Team contributions rather than individual genius

Gujarat Titans are noted for their ability to perform as a team rather than relying on individuals. They are not completely reliant on batsmen like Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya, while some of their reliable players have significantly performed this season. Along with other big names, Vijay Shankar and B. Sai Sudarshan have been the most consistent contributors at the top. Josh Little, Jayant Yadav, Noor Ahmed, and Mohit Sharma have all worked together to assist their mainstay bowlers, Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami. Finding new match winners and players who consistently contribute to the team’s overall performance allows them to rank among the top teams in this year’s IPL. They emphasize and epitomize the significance of collaboration.

3. Big names firing

Although they are not reliant on their core players, it is always an added benefit and a morale booster when their core group goes down. Shubman has scored 333 runs in seven innings, Rashid and Shami have taken wickets, and Miller has played his role flawlessly. In teams where youngsters consistently perform and exceed expectations, they look up to their core group of players. Doing their roles according to plan boosts morale and fosters a sense of security among the players. Their most trusted group of players hasn’t been shy of performing in matches because everyone has pitched in, and to top it all off, they’ve found fresh winners in every other match. Rashid has been virtually unplayable this season, while Shami’s antics with the new ball have been amusing.

4. Spin bowling department

After experimenting with numerous combinations, the Gujarat Titans have discovered their finest spin bowling alternatives this season. They’ve found their holy trinity in the form of Jayant Yadav, Noor Ahmed, and, ultimately, Rashid Khan, the best spinner in the world right now. Rashid Khan has contributed wickets and provided invaluable advice to his countryman Noor. As Gujarat has identified another mystery spinner from Afghanistan, he has been grooming Noor. Jayant Yadav’s role is quite apparent and visible. He’ll be a sub and only be utilized if the wicket has demons. He played a key role in GT’s low-scoring thriller versus LSG. Rashid has 14 wickets to his name, and Noor has been able to amass 8 in the four matches he has featured.

5. Squad Depth

Whatever is said and done, a player’s career will have purple and lean patches, and there will come a moment when someone will have to sit out a few matches. Not everyone can deliver match-winning performances in every game of a long competition like the Indian Premier League (IPL). Yash Dayal was asked to sit out after conceding 30 off the final over and was replaced by Mohit Sharma, who contributed significantly and won two man-of-the-match awards. Alizzari Joseph cost the Gujarat Titans against the Rajasthan Royals and was benched in favor of Joshua Little, who had won their previous game. They have a strong bench with a replacement for nearly everyone. This is a massive benefit for all.