Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya has said that he saved his best spell for the final after winning their maiden IPL trophy beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets. Hardik further added that he kept bowling on the right lengths and was awarded for the discipline with three wickets.
Gujarat Titans scripted a fairytale run in their debut season winning the IPL trophy with a victory over Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets. In a low-scoring affair, RR opted to bat first but their decision turned out to be very incorrect. GT bowled remarkably well to restrict the opposition on 130/9. Hardik Pandya being the skipper of the team led from the front as he picked three wickets conceding just 17 runs. R Sai Kishore picked a couple of wickets while Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal scalped a single wicket each.
Hardik didn’t bowl in every game for GT but whenever he bowled in the tournament, he delivered. Reflecting on his spell in the final, Hardik stated that he saved his best performance for the most important occasion.
“Wanted to show at the right time what I've worked hard for. Today was the day from the bowling point of view I saved the best for the best. Second ball of my spell when I got Sanju out, saw that if you hit the wicket hard and hit the seam something is gonna happen. All about sticking to the right lengths, asking the batters to play the right shots,” Hardik said in the post-match presentation.
Hardik scored 34 runs in GT’s victory while David Miller played a cameo of unbeaten 32 runs from 19 balls. Shubhman Gill was the highest run-scorer with unbeaten 45 runs for the team. Hardik batted at number 4 throughout the tournament for the team and he performed very well. He scored 487 runs from 15 matches at 44.27 and a strike rate of 131.27.
GT had a brilliant bowling attack which included quality pacers like Mohammed Shami and Lockie Ferguson. Rashid Khan was the leading spinner of the team and young Yash Dayal also chipped in with important contributions in the tournament. Summarising the campaign, Hardik said that bowlers often win matches and so the team focused on playing specialist bowlers.
“This is the right example for any team in the world. If you can play as a team and build a good unit with genuine people around, wonders can happen. I and Ashu pa, we like to play proper bowlers. Batters can obviously chip in, but most of the time I have seen in T20 cricket - it's a batter's game but bowlers win you games,” he stated.
RR were a brilliant side in the IPL 2022 as they ended up as the finalists of the tournament. Jos Buttler was the leading run-scorer for the team and in the tournament. Youngsters like Kuldeep Sen also performed brilliantly for them. Reflecting on the team’s campaign, Samson said that he is proud of the squad and congratulated GT.
“This season is a really special for us. We have been able to play good cricket and give fans some happy moments. All the youngsters, seniors played well as a team, I am proud of my team. Huge congratulations to Gujarat Titans,” Samson commented.