Ahead of the bidding days, they signed Hardik Pandya as their captain for Rs 15 crore.

Unlike Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), Gujarat Titans (GT) could not make much of an impression on their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 auction debut. Ahead of the bidding days, they signed Hardik Pandya as their captain for Rs 15 crore. Apart from the all-rounder, they also purchased versatile Afghanistan leg-spinner, Rashid Khan, for the same price. Their third pick ahead of the auction was batter Shubman Gill for Rs 8 crore. At the auction, they picked up New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson for Rs 10 crore, all-rounder Rahul Tewatia for Rs 9 crore, and senior Indian pacer Mohammed Shami for Rs 6.25 crore. Here’s an analysis of the GT squad after the auction. 

GT’s hits 

To be honest, it is difficult to pick too many positives in GT’s squad at the auction. They did well to purchase explosive England opener Jason Roy at Rs 2 crore. Gujarat must ensure that they make maximum use of his services at the top of the order. Australia’s T20 World Cup star Matthew Wade was also purchased by GT for Rs 2.40 crore. Wade will be high on confidence following his exploits in the ICC event. It remains to be seen whether the franchise gets the advantage of the same. Experienced Indian pacer Mohammed Shami was a decent buy at Rs 6.25 crore. 

GT’s misses 

Quite a long list if one goes into additional details. GT picked Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson for a whopping Rs 10 crore. He is a decent fast bowler, no doubt, but he is no Jasprit Bumrah or Trent Boult yet. As such, buying him for Rs 10 crore defies cricketing logic. GT’s strategy took a big hit over here as they had to then overcompensate when it came to picking other players. If you take a look at their squad, apart from two retained players in Hardik and Rashid, they really don’t have any star names. Even Hardik is facing a battle to prove himself. Gill, the other retained player, is a work in progress. 

GT needed to strengthen their squad at the auction, but they didn’t quite manage to do that. If we take a look at some of their players purchased for above Rs 1 crore, they went for Yash Dayal at Rs 3.20 crore, Alzarri Joseph at Rs 2.40 crore, David Miller at Rs 3 crore, and Wriddhiman Saha at Rs 1.90 crore. All of them are more than decent performers, but as a team, on paper, they lack solidity and firepower. This could end up hurting them on the field.

X Factor

It was tough to pick an X factor player from Gujarat. But since we had to pick one, we would go with Rahul Tewatia. The former Rajasthan Royals (RR) all-rounder jumped into the limelight by hammering Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes during IPL 2020. He played a couple of more impressive knocks that season but had a forgettable edition last year. Still, on the basis of his 2020 show, he was picked up by GT for Rs 9 crore. Tewatia has the ability to strike the ball a long way and is a useful spinner who can claim crucial scalps. Can he deliver consistently in at least one department is the question. 

Verdict? Quite a disappointment 

To be brutally frank, of all the 10 IPL 2022 squads, GT look the weakest on paper. They haven’t been able to get the balance right in any department. It is now up to them to prove the analysts wrong.

Gujarat Titans IPL 2022 squad: Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami, Jason Roy, Lockie Ferguson, Abhinav Sadarangani, Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmed, R Sai Kishore, Dominic Drakes, Jayant Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Darshan Nalkande, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Gurkeerat Singh, Matthew Wade, Varun Aaron

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