Match Preview – Titans vs Super Kings, Indian Premier League 2022, 29th Match

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On paper, Gujarat Titans did not really look like a team. They had superstars. But it also felt like they had holes. Notably, a batting order that falls over a cliff after Hardik Pandya at No. 4. It is the reason why when he fell in the last over of a thrilling chase against Punjab Kings, he spent the first few seconds arguing with David Miller for running him out and the next several slumped over a desk in the dug-out.

Pandya keeps insisting that he has to play the anchor role because he is the one with the experience; because he wants his team-mates to play with freedom. And it appears they are responding to his rallying cry. Rahul Tewatia, Shubman Gill, Abhinav Manohar and Miller himself. All of these players have combined so well that we who thought Titans didn’t have batting are now gobbling massive helpings of humble pie. And it tastes… hmmmmmm… needs more blatant pointing and laughing.
Chennai Super Kings are the experts at serving this very same brand of pie, having defied those who thought they were too old or too slow or too basic. Four losses in four games prompted a serious bit of introspection. One win in five shouldn’t put a stop to that. Ravindra Jadeja‘s first season as captain is turning out to be his toughest as a player, and the doubters are piling up. But he won’t mind. Dude looooves proving people wrong. “Need new HATERS,” he tweeted back in 2014, “The old ones are starting to like me.”

In the news

The highest run-getter in the last IPL now has the lowest average among all batters to have played a minimum of five innings. Can Ruturaj Gaikwad turn his form around?

Titans have top-order worries of their own. Matthew Wade is right behind Gaikwad on the worst averages list with 13.6. And their No. 3s (Sai Sudharsan and Vijay Shankar) have the worst strike rate (90.27) for that position in this IPL.

Likely XIs

Gujarat Titans: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz/ Matthew Wade (wk), 3 B Sai Sudharsan, 4 Hardik Pandya (capt), 5 Abhinav Manohar, 6 David Miller, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Yash Dayal

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Robin Uthappa, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja (capt), 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Mukesh Choudhary

Strategy punt

Robin Uthappa has the third-highest average (41.5), the second-highest strike rate (169) and the second-best balls-per-boundary frequency (3.9) among all the openers with at least 100 runs in this IPL. But there’s one area where he’s been less than awesome this season. Facing legspin. Rashid Khan, who happens to be on 99 IPL wickets, will relish going up against someone who is averaging 4 and been dismissed thrice by his style of bowling.

  • While teams have chosen to bowl in Pune in all five IPL games in 2022, this is the only venue where teams batting first have won more times (3) than those who were chasing (2). It is also a little more pacer friendly than the rest, with the quicks picking up 43 wickets and the spinners contributing only 12.
  • In ten IPL innings when he has come in before the eighth over, he averages 41.1 and strikes at 143. In 17 IPL innings when he has come in after the eighth over, he averages 19.8 and strikes at 127.

    Super Kings, largely because of Deepak Chahar’s absence, are on the other end of the spectrum: five wickets (second-worst) at an average of 49.8 (second-worst) and a strike rate of 36 (joint second-worst).

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