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In the only meeting between these two sides in the league stage, Gujarat Titans handed Rajasthan Royals a convincing 37-run defeat, courtesy of skipper Hardik Pandya’s scintillating knock.
This record, coupled with the standings which prove the Titans have had a better season so far, has persuaded us into picking them as the favourites to win this match.
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Gujarat Titans: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Lockie Ferguson, Alzarri Joseph, Mohammed Shami.
Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Obed McCoy.
The two best teams of the 2022 Indian Premier League, Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals will lock horns in Qualifier 1 at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Tuesday, May 24.
Having lost only four of their 14 matches in the league stage, newbies Gujarat Titans topped the charts in their very first IPL campaign. Hardik Pandya’s team had an incredible first half, as they won eight of their first nine matches. On the flip side, it has also to be taken into consideration that the Titans have not looked as intimidating in the business end of the season, having lost three of their last five fixtures, but it could also be down to the fact that they had effectively sealed their playoffs seat way before and did not have much to play for.
Rajasthan Royals finished second owing to their superior net run rate, as they otherwise were tied on points with the third-placed Lucknow Super Giants. Sanju Samson’s team too had a brilliant first half, where they won six of their first eight matches. Three defeats in their next four matches got the Royals’ campaign derailed, but consecutive wins in their last two league stage matches proved just about enough to hand them a place in the Qualifier 1.
Given that they lost their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore quite comprehensively, Gujarat Titans might look to make a few changes to their playing XI. Their bowling unit did not look convincing against Faf du Plessis’ team, and in particular, Yash Dayal leaked a lot of runs without picking up wickets.
Hence, the Indian left-arm pacer might make way for Caribbean speedster Alzarri Joseph, but for that to happen, Hardik Pandya will need to maintain overseas count by possibly replacing an out-of-form Matthew Wade with Sai Sudarshan.
On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals are unlikely to make changes to their team as they won their last league stage fixture. The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Obed McCoy justified their selection in that game, and the only Rajasthan player who perhaps has not been in the best of touches is Riyan Parag.
However, the Royals’ management has backed the Assamese youngster all throughout the competition and that is likely to remain the same in the playoff stages as well.
Jos Buttler: Bowling happens to be Gujarat Titans’ forte, but the likes of Mohammed Shami and Lockie Ferguson will face a stern test in this fixture as up against them will be the current Orange Cup owner of IPL 2022 – Jos Buttler. The English opener has scored 629 runs in 14 matches at an average of 48.38 and a strike rate of 146.96. Buttler has smashed three centuries and as many half-centuries this season, but the Rajasthan think tank might be a tad worried about his current form, as he has scored in single-digits in his previous three outings.
Hardik Pandya: Gujarat Titans have relied more on team game instead of individual brilliance, but if were to pick one notable performer among many from their team, Hardik Pandya’s name comes first. The skipper has led his team from the front – having scored the most runs for Gujarat, 413, and also scalped four wickets.
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|Titans vs Royals, Qualifier 1 – Information|
|Teams||Gujarat Titans vs Rajasthan Royals|
|Location||Eden Gardens, Kolkata|
|Time||Tuesday, 24th May 7:30 PM IST/2 PM GMT|
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Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]More info on Rohit Sankar
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