Gujarat Titans have had some of the biggest hitters in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

The Gujarat Titans (GT) have exceeded all expectations in their debut season in the Indian Premier League (IPL). They, in fact, became the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season. After 13 matches, they have 20 points and will finish at the top of the points table after the league stage. Even if they lose their last league clash, the maximum any other team can reach is 18 points. Gujarat have only lost three of their 13 matches so far, and a number of their wins have been achieved from challenging circumstances. We look at five reasons why GT have had a stellar IPL 2022.

1. Different players putting their hands up 

This is the foremost reason why Gujarat have dominated IPL 2022. They haven’t been dependent on one or two stars to deliver. When the season began, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, and Rashid Khan, their three draft picks, were expected to be their key performers. All of them have done reasonably well, but they have been aided by contributions from the others as well. Abhinav Manohar played a few crucial knocks at the start of the innings. Wriddhiman Saha came in after Matthew Wade failed and has batted as if he owns the opening slot. Yash Dayal and Alzarri Joseph have been unsung heroes in the bowling department. Even R Sai Kishore has come in and made an instant impact.

2. The finishing edge 

The finishing is an area where Gujarat have an enviable edge over the others. Rahul Tewatia has played a couple of incredible knocks to lift the team to victory from near-impossible situations. David Miller played perhaps the knock of the tournament when he single-handedly lifted GT to a three-wicket victory with a nerveless 94*. Along with Miller and Tewatia, there has been triple trouble for opponents as Rashid has slashed his bat like a warrior to pull off a couple of extraordinary wins.

3. Giant slayer Mohammed Shami

GT pacer Mohammed Shami kicked off IPL 2022 with a brute of a delivery to send back KL Rahul first ball in the team’s opening match against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). The first-ball wicket set the tone of the edition for Shami and, in turn, Gujarat. In subsequent matches, he has dismissed Robin Uthappa, Sam Billings, Sunil Narine, Kane Williamson, Rahul Tripathi, Virat Kohli, Jonny Bairstow, and Devon Conway, all of them at the start of the innings. When GT met LSG a second time, Shami got the better of Rahul once again. The seasoned Indian pacer has been on a different level in IPL 2022. 

4. Top class bowling attack 

Not just Shami, Gujarat’s overall bowling attack oozes quality. Lockie Ferguson was excellent in the initial matches with his pace and wicket-taking ability. Yash Dayal has had an impressive debut IPL season, and has provided excellent support to Shami. As mentioned earlier, Joseph has provided silent support to the key bowlers but has been doing the job expected of him. Rashid claimed four wickets in GT’s thumping of LSG when the teams met for the second time in the competition. Hardik Pandya has looked effective whenever he has bowled.

5. Hardik Pandya’s impressive captainy 

It would be unfair to give excessive credit to captain Hardik Pandya for the team’s wonderful performances. But it would be equally unfair not to give him a portion of the praise. Hardik’s real test will come when opponents figure out his captaincy plans and target him accordingly. For now, though, he is doing a good job. He is ensuring the bowlers are coming in at the right time, something which Rishabh Pant can learn from him. His outburst at Shami in one of the matches was unnecessary and an early indication of his naivety as a leader. But full marks to him for leading from the front with the willow in the initial games. His performances gave the new franchise confidence and assurance that they belonged here.

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