Everybody loves a fairy-tale. The world of sports is littered with stories of human triumph – defying the odds, producing spectacles worth remembering for decades and generations to come. IPL had its own fairy-tale start back in 2008 courtesy Rajasthan Royals – when an unfancied bunch wrapped in blue was led by an inspirational Shane Warne to a winning run – the story of which has now become part of IPL folklore.
IPL 2022 Best Playing XI: Team of The Tournament Led by Hardik Pandya
Gujarat Titans produced a fairy-tale of their own in IPL 2022 which at times was a throwback to what RR pulled off 14 years back. Yet there was a difference. Yes GT were unfancied but they had proven performers. Although the stars weren’t at their brightest when the team was being assembled. But once the red-carpet was laid, theirs was the brightest galaxy that outshined everyone else’s. And they were dominant while doing that. They crossed every hurdle with ease and one could be forgiven for assuming they were seasoned campaigners rather then some novice.
IPL 2022 Record: Played: 16; Won: 12; Lost: 4; Standing: 1
High point of the Season
Winning the title. Can anything top it? Across the season, they were involved in multiple last-over thrillers, winning most of them. The last-ball six by Rahul Tewatia against Punjab Kings, the steely resolve of David Miller and assault in slog overs from Rashid Khan against Chennai Super Kings, Pandya changing his role to anchor innings…there were plenty of memorable moments. However, beating the second-best team of the tournament in dominating style to lift the trophy should top everything else.
Low point of the Season
Well, they didn’t leave much room for that. They were quick to bounce back from defeats though. Their first loss was against Sunrisers Hyderabad which was followed by five wins in a row. They did suffer back-to-back defeats against Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians though which for a team enjoying the run like GT were, it could be dubbed as their lowest point.
The biggest surprise Pandya pulled off was the way he took to the role of a leader. He embraced it and stepped up. Led by example – something which he has been pretty vocal about in the past. He batted up the order and controlled his propensity to play big shots. The result was him finishing as the top run-getter from his team. He didn’t bowl every single match but when he did, he made sure to make it count. In the final, he rightly adjudged the pitch was favouring pacers and ended up bowling his full quota. He took three wickets in them. His bowling changes were impressive, especially during tight situations. He was happy to take a backseat as well letting his teammates do their thing.
Most valuable player
Rashid Khan. While the Afghan legspinner was his usual self when bowling, what stood out this season was his big-hitting. He took 19 wickets and was frugal, finishing with an economy of 6.59. He batted in the lower order but proved he’s not a walking wicket. CSK would remember him as he clattered 40 off 21 against them to trigger a turnaround. In all, he faced 44 deliveries but belted 91 runs off them.
Matthew Wade. They opened with him, they batted him in the middle-order but the Australian failed to produce his world cup heroics, even once. In 10 innings, he managed 157 runs at a strike-rate of 113.76. GT persisted with him because of his wicketkeeping skills but with the bat, he had a disappointing season.
A dream run. GT showed you don’t always need big names in your ranks for big performances. With the likes of Ashish Nehra and Gary Kirsten manning the backroom staff, and a calm-headed captain in Pandya, Titans can realistically challenge the supremacy of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings – the two teams who have between them won nine IPL titles.
- Most Runs: Hardik Pandya (487)
- Most Wickets: Mohammed Shami (20)
- Highest Individual Score: David Miller – 94* vs CSK
- Best Bowling Figures: Rashid Khan – 4/24 vs Lucknow Super Giants