When the new season of the Indian Premier League kickstarted, no one talked about the new entrants Gujarat Titans much. In fact, after the conclusion of the mega-auction ahead of the biggest T20 carnival on the planet, no one really gave Gujarat Titans a chance this season. However, they have surprised all by emerging as the most consistent side throughout the tournament and reaching the final under the strong leadership of Hardik Pandya.
Their skipper was returning from a long injury layoff and there were doubts over his fitness and form ahead of the competition. However, the all-rounder silenced his critics in style by scoring consistent runs with his willow. While he didn’t bowl much this season, he has been instrumental with his captaincy to take Gujarat Titans to the final.
Meanwhile, to everyone’s surprise, Hardik Pandya the bowler emerged in the big final as the Baroda-born cricketer scalped 3 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs to break the back of the Rajasthan Royals’ batting.
Hardik Pandya steals the show in the big final
Rajasthan Royals won the toss and decided to bat first in the final. At the end of the 8th over, they were going smoothly at 60/1 with Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson batting in the middle.
However, the skipper Pandya brought himself after the first strategic timeout and got the massive wicket of Sanju Samson immediately. The younger Pandya-brother looked in full control while bowling as he also dismissed Jos Buttler and Shimron Hetmyer to scalp the biggest wickets of the Rajasthan Royals’ batting unit.
Hardik Pandya’s brilliance with the bowl helped the Titans to restrict the Royals to a paltry total of 130/9 in 20 overs.
Chasing the total, Gujarat Titans lost the plot early but the skipper Hardik Pandya alongside Shubman Gill provided the stability. The all-rounder scored 34 vital runs with the bat before getting out.
Twitter hailed Pandya as Captain Marvel for his brilliant outing with the bowl, the bat, and for his leadership skills as well.
Check out the best Tweets here:
Very impressed with how Hardik Pandya has handled things so far; and that includes these two overs he has bowled. #GT look calmer.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 29, 2022
Talent koot koot ke bhara hai is bande mein. Hardik Pandya take a bow! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) May 29, 2022
Love a bowling Hardik Pandya #IPLFinals
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) May 29, 2022
Good bowling changes, good field placement and great execution of plans.
— Amit Mishra (@MishiAmit) May 29, 2022
— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) May 29, 2022
— Jatin Sapru (@jatinsapru) May 29, 2022
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 29, 2022
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) May 29, 2022
What a spell by captain Hardik Pandya:
– A blockbuster season for Hardik the All Rounder, India missed this Hardik badly in the past. pic.twitter.com/LIuKGBrGU6
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) May 29, 2022