After a couple of disappointing performances, veteran batter Robin Uthappa raised his game and slammed a magnificent 88 off 50 against RCB.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 is now three weeks old. Looking at the points table after the third week, debutant franchise the Gujarat Titans (GT) are on top with four wins from five matches. The other team is considered a strong contender to win the title this season; the Rajasthan Royals (RR) are second with three wins from five matches. Apart from RR, there are five teams on six points, and they are separated on the points table only by net run rate – Punjab, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The Delhi Capitals (DC) have had a mixed run, winning two and losing as many. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have one win from five games, and the Mumbai Indians (MI) none from as many. Here’s IPL 2022’s team of week three.

Openers: Abhishek Sharma, Robin Uthappa (wk)

SRH opener Abhishek Sharma had an excellent week with the bat. He scored a fluent 75 off 50 in the team’s first win of IPL 2022 against CSK. The left-hander followed it up with 42 against GT and featured in a 64-run stand with Kane Williamson as SRH stunned the Titans.

After a couple of disappointing performances, veteran batter Robin Uthappa raised his game and slammed a magnificent 88 off 50 against RCB. The stroke-filled knock featured four fours and nine sixes. 

Middle-order: Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube

Keeping aside the fitness issue against GT, Rahul Tripathi has been in magnificent form for SRH. He slammed an unbeaten 39 off only 15 balls against CSK. He was then Player of the Match for his 37-ball 71 against KKR. Tripathi completely dominated the Kolkata attack, scoring at a strike rate of nearly 192.

Suryakumar Yadav has been top-notch for MI since being available for selection. The in-form middle-order batter clubbed an unbeaten 68 off 37 balls against RCB in a losing cause. He followed it up with 43 off 30 against PBKS, but MI were again on the wrong side of the result.

CSK’s Shivam Dube finds a place in the middle-order on the back of his match-winning knock against RCB. Coming into bat with Chennai in trouble at 36 for 2, he returned unbeaten on 95 off 46 balls, featuring in a 165-run stand for the third wicket with Uthappa. Dube clubbed five fours and eight sixes in his innings.

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya (c), Andre Russell

GT skipper Hardik Pandya will lead the team of week three. He has been highly impressive in the last two games. Pandya followed up his unbeaten 50 against SRH with 87 not out against Rajasthan. He was unstoppable, hitting eight fours and four sixes. Pandya shone with the ball as well, claiming the wicket of Jimmy Neesham. He also scored a direct hit to run out Sanju Samson.

Andre Russell stood up for KKR with worthy performances. He scored 24 and claimed 1 for 16 against Delhi. In the match against SRH, his unbeaten 49 lifted Kolkata to a challenging total. He also claimed a couple of wickets with the ball.

Bowlers: T Natarajan, Kuldeep Yadav, Maheesh Theekshana, Lockie Ferguson

T Natarajan had a standout week for SRH. The left-arm seamer was constantly among the wickets. He picked up 2 for 30 against Chennai, 2 for 34 against Gujarat and, more recently, 3 for 37 against Kolkata. An easy choice in the playing XI for the team of the week.

The remaining three bowlers find a place on the back of one game-changing performance for the team. Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav claimed 4 for 35 against his former franchise KKR, which included three wickets in one over. Sri Lankan off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana ran through RCB’s batting with figures of 4 for 33 as CSK registered a 23-run win. 

Lockie Ferguson swung the match against RR in GT’s favor with figures of 3 for 23. He ended Jos Buttler’s stunning knock with an unplayable yorker. He also dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin and Riyan Parag as Gujarat beat Rajasthan by 37 runs. 

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