Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya has revealed that he will mostly bat at number four for the franchise throughout the tournament after winning the opening game against Lucknow Super Giants. Pandya also praised Mohammed Shami for his match-winning spell saying he gave the team a good start
Gujarat Titans have started their campaign in the IPL 2022 by beating Lucknow Super Giants with five wickets to spare. GT won the toss and preferred to bowl first. Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers for GT as he picked three early wickets and played a key role in reducing the opposition to 29/4.
Shami was on fire as he deceived the batsmen with his seam movement. He first dismissed KL Rahul on an out-swinging delivery and then clean bowled Quinton De Kock and Manish Pandey on deliveries coming in. winning captain Hardik Pandya praised Shami for his spell.
“This was the right game for us to be on either side and learn, but have learned a lot by winning. Shami is known for his seam positions and he got us to a great start. We would have any day taken 160 on this wicket.,” Pandya said in the post-match presentation.
Deepak Hooda and IPL debutant Ayush Badoni both scored half-centuries and helped the team cross the 150-run mark. Hooda scored 55 runs from 41 balls while Badoni amassed 54 runs from 41 balls. The team scored a total of 158/6. Chasing the target, GT also lost two early wickets on 15 runs. However, Hardik Pandya walked in to bat at number four and built a good partnership with Matthew Wade. Pandya revealed that he will bat at number four for the team throughout the tournament mostly.
“Mostly I'll bat at number four because I want to take pressure with my experience so that the others can play freely. We want to win as a team and nobody can take the contribution away from us. Getting out to Krunal would have pinched me more had we lost, but now the family is neutral and happy. He got me out and we won the match,” he remarked.
In the back end of the innings, Abhinav Manohar and Rahul Tewatia helped the team cross the finishing line. Tevatia scored unbeaten 40 runs from 24 balls while Manohar played a knock of unbeaten 15 runs from 7 balls and the team won the game by five wickets. Pandya praised both of these two batters.
“Manohar is some talent to look at with the talent he has. He is someone who you are going to hear about in the future. Tewatia was sensational as well,” he stated.
Reflecting on his performance, Shami who was adjudged Man of the Match revealed that he has worked on his seam position very hard.
“I was warmed up well. It was important to get a good start in the first match, I looked to bowl a Test-match line and length here. When the ball comes out of your hand like that ... (smiles). I have worked very hard on this seam position,” he explained.
“People say it is god-gifted, but that's not the case. I try to come round the wicket to a leftie and make that angle because that's the most uncomfortable thing for them. I just look to do that. Hardik asked me if I wanted the fourth over on the trot, but I told him to hold me back.”