This is it. After two months of jaw-dropping action we have reached the Final of TATA IPL 2022, and it brings us live action from the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for the thrilling encounter between the Gujarat Titans and the Rajasthan Royals.
The Gujarat Titans finished top of the league table with 20 points from their 14 games, suffering just 4 defeats. They were the first to qualify for the Playoffs and faced the Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 1. Winning the toss and fielding first, their bowlers were not at their best as Rajasthan Royals managed to put up a target of 190 for Gujarat. However, the Titans batters responded brilliantly, with their captain Hardik Pandya and David Miller leading them to the Final in their maiden campaign with marvellous knocks of 40 and 68 respectively.
The GT have been a dominant force this season right from Day One and have maintained consistency and momentum throughout the season, which has taken them to the Final. Hardik Pandya has done a superb job as Gujarat’s captain, and with the Final being played on his team’s home soil with huge crowd support, the Gujarat Titans will be surely fancying their chances of clinching the IPL trophy.
That said, the Titans are up against a familiar opposition, who they shall be facing for the third time this season.
The Rajasthan Royals finished second in the league stage with 18 points from their 14 games, having registered 9 wins to their name. They faced the Titans in Qualifier 1 but couldn’t get the win that would have taken them to the Final. However, they did not lose their nerves and crushed the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2 by 7 wickets courtesy of a brilliant 106-run knock of Jos Buttler.
The 2008 IPL Champions have been a great team this season and have made the Final for the first time since 2008. Sanju Samson and Co know it will not be an easy task for them as they have lost both the matches they played against the Titans this campaign. However, this is the Final and a new game, and Rajasthan have the momentum on their side, having won big against the RCB. They will surely be eying their second IPL trophy but know that they’ll have to be at their very best on the day.
Match: Gujarat Titans vs Rajasthan Royals, Sunday, 29 May 2022
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad .
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar
This is the second game that will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. In the last match, a total of 158 was not enough for the RCB and was easily chased down by the RR. The pitch did not have cracks at all, making it a brilliant wicket to bat on, and as Matthew Hayden mentioned before Qualifier 2, the team batting first need to put up at least 180 runs on the board to give themselves a chance.
This is good pitch for the batters, who’ll have to be at their best. I fancy the captain winning the toss to bowl first and be comfortable chasing, however, but do expect a high-scoring game.
Probable playing XIs:
Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Matthew Wade, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, R Sai Kishore, Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, Lockie Ferguson
Bench: Vijay Shankar, Sai Sudharshan, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Pradeep Sangwan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Dominic Drakes, Darshan Nalkande, Noor Ahmad, Varun Aaron, Abhinav Manohar, Alzarri Joseph
Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Obed McCoy, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal
Bench: Navdeep Saini, Rassie van der Dussen, KC Cariappa, Daryl Mitchell, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Anunay Singh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Dhruv Jurel, Shubham Garhwal, Karun Nair, Kuldeep Sen, James Neesham
Matches played: 2 | Gujarat Titans: 2 | Rajasthan Royals: 0
Batter to watch out for: Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler has been the standout performer of the tournament this season, let alone the Rajasthan Royals. The Englishman has repaid the faith shown by in him the Royals when they retained him for this year’s campaign. He has scored 824 runs in 16 games with an Average of nearly 59 runs per game and has long secured the Orange Cap for himself. He guided the Royals to their first Final since 2008 as he scored a match-winning knock of 106 runs off just 60 balls against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2. He will be eying another huge performance, which may prove to be one of most important games of his RR career so far.
Bowler to watch out for: Yuzvdendra Chahal
Just like his teammate Buttler, who has secured the Orange Cap for himself, Yuzvendra Chahal needs one more wicket to clinch the Purple Cap for this campaign. Tied on 26 wickets with RCB spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, Chahal will be hoping to display his season-best performance in the Final. He has been a crucial bowler for the Royals this campaign and they will be surely banking on him one last time this season to come out with a match-winning performance.
Jos Buttler (c), Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, David Miller, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravichandran Ashwin, Prasidh Krishna, Obed McCoy, Rashid Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal
The Gujarat Titans are eying their first trophy, and the Rajasthan Royals are looking to clinch their second. Both the teams will be high on confidence following their triumphs in the previous encounter. The Titans, however, will be fancying their chances considering their record against the Royals and the home support they’ll have in the Final. However, cricket is a game where you cannot decide the outcome until the very last ball.
This is a tough call to make, but I predict the Gujarat Titans to emerge victorious and be crowned champions of TATA IPL 2022.