fbpx

IPL 2022 : Gujarat Titans SWOT Analysis

/
5 mins read
IPL 2022 SWOT Analysis: Gujarat Titans

With Hardik Pandya leading the side and Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill as the other retentions, the Gujarat Titans paid big bucks for the services of Lockie Ferguson, Rahul Tewatia, and Mohammed Shami. But how does their overall squad look ahead of the 2022 season?

The Gujarat Titans, along with the Lucknow Super Giants, were earmarked to join the Indian Premier League towards the end of 2021. However, a few discrepancies in the paperwork meant that they weren’t able to begin planning for the 2022 edition as they would’ve liked.

But when the opportunity was at their doorstep and waiting for them to seize it, their acquisition of Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, and Shubman Gill gave a good account of the Titans’ intentions. Not only do these three bring in different qualities to the fore, they also have the potential to be long-term options for the Titans.

Both Hardik and Rashid were retained for INR 15 crore each, while the opening batter Shubman Gill settled for INR 8 crore, leaving a budget of INR 52 crore for the owners and the management group to build a team around them.

Thus, without further ado, let’s dive into it and take a look at the SWOT Analysis of the Gujarat Titans ahead of the 2022 IPL.

Also Read – Indian Premier League 2022 Mega Auction: Review

SQUAD

Total squad strength: 23

Batters and Wicket-keepersAll-roundersBowlers
Abhinav ManoharAlzarri JosephLockie Ferguson
David MillerB Sai SudharshanMohammed Shami
Gurkeerat SinghDarshan NalkandePradeep Sangwan
Jason RoyDominic DrakesVarun Aaron
Shubman GillHardik Pandya (c)Yash Dayal
Matthew Wade (wk)Jayant YadavNoor Ahmad
Wriddhiman Saha (wk)Rahul TewatiaR Sai Kishore
Vijay ShankarRashid Khan

Probable XI : Jason Roy, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Shami, R Sai Kishore.

STRENGTH

The Gujarat Titans’ biggest strength is that their playing XI has several match-winners in it. From their opening pair of Jason Roy and Shubman Gill to the big-hitters in the middle and lower order with Hardik Pandya, Mathew Wade, Rahul Tewatia, and Rashid Khan, the Titans have six players in their probable playing XI who can alter the game on their own.

Jason Roy, in particular, has been in red-hot form over the last six months. Recently, the English batter scored two half-centuries in the five-match T20I series against the West Indies, while in the ongoing Pakistan Super League, playing for the Quetta Gladiators, the 31-year-old tonked 116 runs off 57 balls to chase down a target of 205 set by the Lahore Qalandars with ease. 

Similarly, the Titans have three bowling match-winners in Rashid, Lockie Ferguson, and Mohammed Shami.

Be it a fresh new wicket or a dry, dusty, and crumbly wicket, Rashid Khan can extract turn and zip from any kind of surface, which is why he is one of the very best. Moreover, since all the league-stage matches will be played in Maharashtra, across four different venues, those red bouncy wickets will assist someone like Lockie Ferguson. For someone like Mohammed Shami, pitches and conditions in Mumbai and Pune offer just the right amount of assistance, and playing under the lights makes him all the more potent.

Thus, as far as the playing XI goes, there are quite a few players that can turn the game on its head on any given day.

WEAKNESS

At the start of Day One in the 2022 IPL mega auction, the Gujarat Titans were very impressive. They snapped up Jason Roy at his base price of INR 2 crore — an absolute bargain. They went all the way for Mohammed Shami at INR 6.25 crore and managed to bring in Lockie Ferguson on board for INR 10 crore.

However, as they missed out on a few of their primary targets, they started feeding on scraps — at quite a frenetic pace too. For example, they could’ve cooled off on bidding for Rahul Tewatia (INR 9 crore) and utilised that cash for a frontline Indian middle-order batter. They also failed to add a wicketkeeper to their squad till the penultimate round of the auction. They eventually filled in that quota with the acquisition of an Indian old horse in Wriddhiman Saha, then quickly followed it by procuring the services of Matthew Wade, hinting they might have just started to feel the heat.

Although their top order looks solid and they have a decent lower order, there is no spine to this Titans team. There is a big gaping hole in the middle order, and the back-ups don’t evoke much excitement either. A middle order of Saha, Shankar, Pandya, and Wade is nowhere near good enough to challenge for the Playoff spots, let alone the IPL trophy. Wade had a good outing during Australia’s triumphant ICC T20 World Cup campaign last year and looks in decent touch ahead of the IPL season. However, there are question marks over the fitness and form of all the other three players. All three of them have had almost little to no cricketing action in the last year or so. 

OPPORTUNITY

Now, to address these middle-order shortcomings: there is an uncapped Indian middle-order batter who can fill in one of those voids. Abhinav Manohar, a Karnataka middle-order batter, looks a good fit. The 27-year-old is good against spin bowling and likes to step down the wicket and get to the pitch of the ball. Against fast bowling, he doesn’t move his front much but likes to pull and cut; he’d be a good fit in that #4 slot.

The Titans have Pradeep Sangwan and Varun Aaron as back-up fast bowlers. However, both these bowlers are past their prime and running on their last legs. Thus, a young 24-year-old left-arm fast bowler, whose bowling action resembles a certain RP Singh, could be the one getting the nod as the third frontline seamer whenever conditions will require the team to field such a team: Yash Dayal, the Uttar Pradesh seamer, will be a great addition, since the left-arm seamer looks to swing the ball into right-handers and is someone who poses bags of potential and can become a huge asset under the right guidance.

As the final pick, I’d take R Sai Kishore. He is a slow left-arm orthodox spinner who created a buzz with his performances in the Tamil Nadu Premier League a couple of years ago, and the Gujarat Titans didn’t think twice before shelling out INR 3 crore for the Chennai boy. He is a tall bowler—someone like Axar Patel—and is accurate with his line and length, which results in good economical spells more often than not.

THREAT

The Gujarat Titans look like the most undercooked franchise ahead of the 2022 season. Shubman Gill hasn’t been in the best of form over the last year or so, so if he doesn’t show up, then Wriddhiman Saha will have to open with Jason Roy, but Saha, too, has had little to no cricket over the last 12 months and isn’t a sure bet to fire. Moreover, he leaves a vacant #3 spot to be filled with no solid back-up options.

Then, if they want Matthew Wade to open the innings, they will have to bring in either Abhinav Manohar or Gurkeerat Singh at #6, and hoping for two unproven talents to do a job at the all-important #6 position is a tough ask.

The Titans are riddled with holes and stop-gap players. Alzarri Joseph and Dominic Drakes could help them find some solace if they can find their groove, but for every what if a new hole emerges, and for every new question, the team don’t seem to have the answer.

More importantly, we haven’t even addressed the elephant in the room, Hardik Pandya, yet, who has had his fair share of bouts with recurring injuries. He made a return last year to the Indian T20I squad—only for his batting duties—but failed to capitalise on those chances, while he also had a below-par 2021 IPL campaign, scoring just 127 runs in 11 innings. The Titans skipper has returned to the nets recently with the ball, and so far the signs are encouraging. But as we know, bowling in the nets and playing in a competitive IPL game are two different ball games.

Thus, a lot has to go right for this newly-formed IPL franchise to make a bid for those Playoff spots in their first season. They aren’t the finished article yet, and will need one or two mini-auctions to get the balance of their squad right.

PREDICTION: 10th

%d bloggers like this: