Gujarat Titans succeed with Bowling Might and Batting Heroics: IPL 2022


Modified May 28, 2022 3:29 PM IST

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After the Auction, many questioned the Gujarat Titans strategy of not picking up a keeper early on, and going in light on batting. The decision to retain Shubman Gill was questioned, and hopes on Gujarat Titans going far in this tournament were minimal. Two months later, Gujarat Titans are in their first ever IPL Final, and their bowling might is being praised.

With a bowling line-up consisting of Mohammad Shami, Lockie Ferguson/ Alzarri Joseph, and Rashid Khan, the Gujarat Titans have incredible bowling death, and can take wickets while restricting runs at any phase of the innings. Both Lockie Ferguson and Alzarri Joseph, are handy death bowlers, while Mohammad Shami is brilliant with the new-ball, taking wickets up front consistently while constantly evolving as a death bowler.

There is Rashid Khan next, who can bowl at any stage of the innings, and has been brilliant with his control while silently chipping away with wickets when needed. Yash Dayal and Sai Kishore have come in as bonuses to the side. Both bowlers are doing a wonderful supporting job, while Hardik Pandya has also chipped in with the ball, ensuring that one of the top-four can provide crucial overs. The bowling depth in the eleven though has been so deep that Rahul Tewatia, a main leg-spinner in the Royals last season, is hardly being used.

With the bat, Gujarat Titans have constantly found heroes. Their retention strategy was questioned, but Shubman Gill’s early knocks helped silence critics, while Wriddhiman Saha quickly came into his own in the powerplay. With Saha and Gill finding their roles in the side, the rest of the batting line-up settled itself well. There was Matthew Wade who moved in and out of the side, while Hardik Pandya used this season as an opportunity to bat at number four.

Batting at number four, Hardik Pandya has shown himself to be a capable batter, and is pretty consistent as a batter who can play with intent while holding on until the finishing stages of the innings. The biggest surprise for the Gujarat Titans with the bat though has been David Miller.

David Miller has been a part of the IPL for a long time. He was a central figure in the Punjab Kings early on, leading the side for half a season as well, but has fallen away in the last few seasons. With David Miller falling of radar, he was unsold in the initial round of the auctions, but came back and was picked up by the Gujarat Titans.

With the Gujarat Titans, David Miller has been given more responsibility than he has with other sides. Knowing the side is light on batting, he has looked to take games deep, and is a vital clog in the middle-order. Coming in at five, David Miller has shown his ability to maneuver spin bowlers well, used his experience nicely and is enjoying one of his best seasons. His game against spin in particular has impressed a lot, and David Miller is looking as comfortable as ever out in the middle.

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With experience in the form of David Miller, taking games deep has been easy as Gujarat Titans have been able to use Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan to find boundaries in the end with Miller biding his time. Together, the three players have played crucial knocks in the death, and this has allowed Gujarat to develop a strong middle order to go with their strong bowling attack.

Champion sides in the IPL generally have the best bowling attacks, while the middle-order strength looks like it is never ending. Mumbai Indians came in with such strength in IPL 2020, while SRH proved that bowling depth can win tournaments in 2016, and with Gujarat Titans ticking both boxes, they seem well on their way to win their first IPL trophy. Ahead of them though are the Rajasthan Royals, who have a strong bowling attack of their own while the batting line-up has some nice names in them as well.