Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya - Twitter
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya - Twitter

Virender Sehwag, a former Indian opening batter praised Gujarat Titans (GT) captain Hardik Pandya’s innings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 final against Rajasthan Royals. The all-rounder came into bat during a volatile situation for his side while chasing 131. He scored 34 crucial runs to help them chase down the total at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, May 29.

Reeling at 23-2 in the sixth over of the run chase, Hardik Pandya diffused the state of the game with a valuable 63-run partnership with Shubman Gill at the other end. While the skipper was undone by Rajasthan leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, he departed after bringing the contest well in favor of the new franchise.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Credits: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag: Hardik Pandya’s Small Innings Of 34 Was Crucial In Gujarat’s Prospects To Win IPL 2022 Trophy

Hardik Pandya grabbed 3-17 with impeccable medium-fast bowling to restrict Rajasthan to 130-9 after Sanju Samson won the toss and chose to bat. The GT skipper then made a crucial 34 off 30 balls as Gujarat scored 133-3 in 18.1 overs.

Opining that GT was dominant across all three departments in the final, Virender Sehwag said: “GT did not score much in the first 8-9 overs, had they lost another wicket at that time, then they would have been in trouble.”

Virender Sehwag added: “But Hardik Pandya’s innings was crucial, may seem small on paper, but those 34 runs were very important. Everything fell in place for GT across all three departments.”

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya played with composure in the middle overs, scoring the odd boundaries, and ended with a healthy strike rate of 113, given the context of the contest.

Opining that the all-rounder played with responsibility, former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel said during the same interaction as Virender Sehwag: “The game had opened up by the time Miller came into the crease. Pandya’s innings was crucial.

“We have seen him bat at No.6 where he was explosive in 20 balls. But here we saw a different Pandya. We saw a responsible Pandya, thought of himself as a batter at No.4 . Did not try too much against Chahal, rotated the strike well. He played according to the situation.”

Hardik Pandya became only the fourth Indian player to lift the IPL trophy as captain after Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, and Gautam Gambhir. The 28-year-old was also adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ following an all-around display. Apart from his crucial 34-run contribution, he also had a say with the ball after claiming three wickets in his spell during the first innings.

With the ball, he dismissed Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and Shimron Hetmyer while giving away just 17 runs off his 4 overs. With the bat, he steadied the ship for the Gujarat Titans after they lost two wickets inside 5 overs.

Virender Sehwag: Shubman Gill Held One End Firmly

Chasing a tricky 131 on a used surface, Shubman Gill top-scored for GT with an unbeaten 45-run inning. The young opener, playing his second consecutive final after an unsuccessful IPL 2021 for runners-up Kolkata Knight Riders, took his time to get settled and anchored the chase for the franchise.

Praising Gill for his approach during the run chase, Sehwag said: “It is a fact that there is no need to play with a strike rate of 200 when you are chasing a low score. Gill did the right thing by staying there till the end, he held one end firmly. Apart from that dropped catch, he did not give a chance for RR as well.”

Shubman Gill. Photo-IPL
Shubman Gill. Photo-IPL

With a match-winning knock in the finals, Shubman Gill capped off a solid campaign for the new franchise. The 22-year-old crossed the 400-run mark for the third consecutive season and finished with 483 runs at an average of 34.50.

Shubman Gill‘s six off Obed McCoy’s bowling sealed the deal for debutants Gujarat Titans as they defeated Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the final.

Brief ScoresGujarat Titans 133/3 (Shubman Gill 45*, Hardik Pandya 34; Trent Boult 1-14) beat Rajasthan Royals 130/9 (Jos Buttler 39, Yashasvi Jaiswal 22; Hardik Pandya 3-17) by 7 wickets.