IPL 2023, RR vs GT | Who said what ft. Rashid Khan, Hardik Pandya

no photo

Gujarat Titans rose to the top of the IPL 2023 points table on Friday by thrashing Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets. Rashid Khan and Hardik Pandya were the stars of the show, and so was Afghanistan’s new sensation Noor Ahmad, as they restricted RR to 118 and reached the target inside 14 overs.

The defending champions made a mockery of a contest against last season’s runner-ups in Match 47 of the ongoing edition in Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Barring Sanju Samson, who made 30 off 20 balls, no RR batter could not even touch 20 after opting to bat, leading them to lose all ten wickets with a below-par total in 17.5 overs. Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad took five wickets between them, while Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and Joshua Little had one each.

Keeping the NRR boost in mind, GT openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill raced to 49 inside six overs. Coming at No. 3, Hardik Pandya went one step further, smashing an unbeaten 39 off just 15 balls to wrap things up with 37 balls to spare. The positive result meant they are now outright favourites to get a place among the top two before the Playoff.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Sanju Samson admitted their batters’ miserable failure against spin-heavy GT arrack. However, he also mentioned they would take this result as one bad day at the office and look forward to the next fixtures. Not to forget, it was RR’s fourth loss in their previous five matches.

Tough night today. We did have a very good powerplay to start with. With 120 to defend, that was a bit too much to ask for. They were bowling really good lines and lengths... they kept on taking crucial wickets in the middle overs. You can't go too in; we have a game in one more night. We have been playing some good cricket. But we have to pull our socks up. We are really hungry to win in the coming week.

Sanju Samson

Saha, who played a sensible knock on Friday, explained how brilliant their bowlers have been since last year, and how the atmosphere at GT dressing room has been helping them to do wonders.

We have been continuing with the benchmark we set last year. Not just one, but all the bowlers are contributing, which is why the Purple Cap has been moving around! My role is to cash on the powerplay. A few shots gave me confidence. The later I try and move to Rashid and Noor [as keeper], the more it helps me to make up even if I can't read the googly.

Wriddhiman Saha

Hardik, meanwhile, revealed he gave GT vice-captain Rashid to take all the responsibility while bowling, and also lauded the leg-spinner and his countrymate Noor Ahmad for spinning a web around the opposition day in and day out.

I let Rashid handle that business (of dealing with the spinners) with Noor. They speak the same language, and nobody is better than Rashid. I think it's a very standard field when they are bowling. They are very confident... I have always found Wriddhi as one of the best keepers I have played it. The way he adds value and does the job for us is tremendous. I made some bad judgments and errors in the last game. Today my job was half done by the time Shubman got out. I got a lot of time to think after the last game.

Hardik Pandya

After a few disappointing spells, Rashid roared back in style against RR, returning excellent figures of 4-0-14-3, to win the Player of the Match award.

Nothing different, it's about making sure you don't give the signal to and make it easy for the batsman... It has taken a little bit of time to make it perfect. It's just the line and length for me. I just keep it simple; it was a bad day for me [in the last game]. I bowled a few bad deliveries which were punished. I just went back and talked with the video analyst. I pitched it a little bit fuller. We (Noor and I) speak Pashtun, and that makes it easier. He has been working and asking questions, and that's the reason for his success. I'm receiving messages and videos of bowlers and youngsters who are so good. Mujeeb, Zahir and Qais haven't got the opportunity to play in this league.

Rashid Khan

Get updates! Follow us on

Open all