It will thus be up to the pacy Umran Malik to try and hurry him and force him into a false stroke.

The Gujarat Titans (GT) will face the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in game 40 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. Gujarat and Hyderabad are two of the strongest sides in the competition at the moment. GT are in second place in the points table, having won six and lost only one of their seven matches so far. As for SRH, they began the competition with two losses, but have since hit a five-match winning streak. In their last game, Gujarat did very well to beat the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) despite posting a middling total of 156, courtesy of their strong bowling line-up. SRH, on the other hand, go in having hammered the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets after rolling them over for 68. Here are five player battles to watch in the GT vs SRH clash.

1. Shubman Gill vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: GT opener Shubman Gill has lost his rhythm since two match-winning knocks at the start of the tournament. His recent scores are 7, 13, 0 and 7. Since Gujarat are depending heavily on him at the start of the innings, he will need to lift his game. If Gill gets going, he will score at a fast pace. SRH pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has found his bearings after a poor start. He has bowled a very few good deliveries to unsettle bowlers at the start of the innings. Knowing how crucial Gill is to GT’s fortunes, he will look to knock over the opener early. 

2. Abhishek Sharma vs Yash Dayal: This will be the clash of the young guns. SRH opener Abhishek Sharma has not been consistent with the willow. However, whenever he has scored, he has done so at a quick pace. With Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson struggling to score fluently at the other end, Sharma will have to get the innings off to a flyer. Young left-arm pacer Yash Dayal has been a good addition to the already strong GT line-up. He has bowled with pace and has picked up a few important scalps. Can be win the battle of the young guns against SRH?

3. Hardik Pandya vs Umran Malik: Hardik Pandya has been unstoppable with the bat for Gujarat and has been leading from the front for them. In the last match as well, he came up with an excellent knock even as the other batters around him struggled. What Pandya has done brilliantly is to score at a fast clip, but he has never looked like a slogger. He seems to have a lot of time on hands. It will thus be up to the pacy Umran Malik to try and hurry him and force him into a false stroke. It is a tough proposition. Will the youngster be able to pull it off?

4. Aiden Markram vs Lockie Ferguson: Aiden Markram wasn’t needed against RCB since the bowlers had done an incredible job. However, his services as a finisher will, most probably, be needed against Gujarat, considering the latter’s strong bowling line-up. Markram has been in fine touch with the bat, finishing off a couple of matches. He will be up against a huge challenge at the death if he comes across Lockie Ferguson. The Kiwi has surprised some of the best in the business with his pace and variations. This could be an intense battle.

5. David Miller vs T Natarajan: Apart from Pandya, David Miller will be a key batter for GT at the death. As he showed against CSK, he still has some fight left in him. If Miller goes berserk, he will demolish opponents. SRH will need to ensure he doesn’t stay long at the slog. In T Natarajan, they have a good option who can stop Miller with his yorkers and slower balls. But he needs to get it right, else he can go the distance.

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