Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season will see the introduction of Gujarat Titans. The new franchise has built up a good looking squad after picking three players in the draft pick before laying their hands in the IPL 2022 mega auction. GT have named Hardik Pandya as their skipper, and it remains to be seen how the former MI ace goes about his job. Hardik has also been nursing injuries and is out of the Indian side.
In the auction, GT got experienced T20 stars such as Jason Roy, Mohammed Shami, and Lockie Ferguson. They are a team that has decent firepower with both bat and ball. They also addressed the wicket-keeping issue late on in the acceleration bidding. GT now needs to find the desired balance and go about their business. Being a new side, they would want to showcase a fine brand of cricket.
One hopes GT can make an impression and find ways to improve as the season progresses. Pandya has a crucial task in hand ahead of him.
The players Gujarat Titans picked in the draft
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair, the existing teams had an opportunity to retain at least four players ahead of the auction. The two new sides had the chance to pick three players of their choice in the draft pick. GT agreed deals with Rashid Khan and Pandya for Rs 15 crore each. They roped in former KKR star Shubman Gill for Rs 8 crore.
Key picks for Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022 auction
Gujarat landed Shami as their key Indian pacer to lead the line. Shami was impressive for PBKS of late. Another decent signing was that of Matthew Wade, who can be productive in that middle-order as a finisher. Ferguson brings versatility as well with the ball and can be counted upon. Rahul Tewatia is a key buy as well. They added experience in the form of David Miller.
A look at GT’s complete squad
Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Jason Roy, Mohammad Shami, Lockie Ferguson, Abhinav Sadarangani, Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmad, R Sai Kishore, Dominic Drakes, Jayant Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Darshan Nalkande, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Gurkeerat Singh
What can be Titans’ playing XI?
1) Shubman Gill: The former KKR player has been a bright spot in the IPL since making his debut in 2018. In the last two seasons, Shubman scored in excess of 400 runs. He is a valuable customer upfront, and GT will aim to maximize.
2) Jason Roy: The England international is a proven T20 customer. Roy will be hoping to get the desired chances after not having been backed by his former franchises on a consistent basis. He is an aggressive batsman and can set the tone.
3) Abhinav Manohar: The Tamil Nadu cricketer made his T20 debut in SMAT and hammered 70 runs from 49 balls. He ended the tourney with 164 runs from four innings. Since then, he also appeared in some List A games. Manohar was bought for Rs 2.6 crore in the auction.
4) Vijay Shankar: The Indian all-rounder has a crucial task in hand. Moving on from SRH, Shankar will be aiming to reignite the interest of Team India selectors. He brings decent value as an all-rounder. His overall show is vital.
5) Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder achieved plenty of success for MI over the years and now has the added responsibility of leading an IPL side. Pandya hasn’t played much cricket of late due to injuries. It remains to be seen if he can bowl consistently for GT.
6) Rahul Tewatia: The spin all-rounder brings dynamism and character to the GT set-up. However, one thing that is an issue with Tewatia is his inability to be consistent. Being bought for a mega sum, Tewatia knows he will be a star attraction, and there are expectations lingering.
7) Matthew Wade: The Aussie star can be a match-winner on any given day. He can be floated in GT’s batting line-up. Wade has finally got an IPL chance, and he will be relishing to get started. He helped Australia win the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 title.
8) Rashid Khan: The mystery spinner remains a class T20 bowler across leagues. His numbers are superb, and he has also enjoyed plenty of success in the IPL for SRH. Rashid will want to continue in the same vein for his new franchise. He has 93 wickets from 76 IPL games.
9) Lockie Ferguson: The former KKR bowler was bought for a huge sum by GT. He is their main bowler among foreign recruits. Lockie will aim to express himself on the pitch with his sheer pace and slower balls. He has what it takes to succeed.
10) M Shami: The Indian pacer will lead GT’s attack. Shami has been a proven wicket-taker, and his exploits up front and at the death will be vital. Of his 79 IPL scalps, 58 have come across the last three seasons. He is enjoying fine form.
11) R Sai Kishore: The left-arm spinner adds a bit more quality in GT’s ranks and will be aiming to support Rashid in the spin department. GT’s line-up has seven bowling options, and that is pretty handy. Kishore is yet to make his debut in the IPL. He has 43 wickets in T20s.