IPL 2022 Final: It’s first-timers vs first-ever champs as Gujarat Titans face Rajasthan Royals – Times of India

AHMEDABAD: Dismissed by the deceptive blade of Jos Butler and inspired by the memory of Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals will hope to end the last chapter of their fairy tale season when they face Gujarat Titans in the IPL final here on Sunday. The Titans are living the dream of their debut season.

What will add to the electronic environment and make Hardik Pandya the ‘Twelfth Man’ for the Titans is the presence of around one lakh cheering fans, who will see their new IPL team play for the first time.

RR and GT will look to have a simply great season off. After losing to the Titans in Qualifier 1 at Eden Gardens earlier this week, Sanju Samson’s Royals, relying heavily on Butler, will be a little underdog. However, they were also underdogs 14 years ago, when Warne, who died tragically just a few weeks ago, made the IPL glory in the inaugural edition.

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All that the Titans have done to get Royals opener Jos Butler out early is that it will come as no surprise in the last three days since he came here from Kolkata. The Englishman has ruled the batting chart with 624 runs and four centuries. Another century and he will break Virat Kohli’s record for most centuries in a single season.

After enduring a slight decline in form, the 31-year-old woke up to this roar, hitting 89 * off 59 balls against Gujarat and then 106 * off 60 balls which hurt RCB.

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So far, the Titans have beaten the Royals twice in the IPL, once in the play-offs, thanks to David Miller’s electrified 38-ball 68 *, and thanks to the league stage before that. Will the Royals be lucky for the third time?

For this to happen, though, RR can’t rely on Butler every time. If the start is good, captain Sanju Samson will have to continue. The same goes for Yashsvi and Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmeyer and even Ashwin, who has added muscle to his T20 batting.

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If the pitch bounces as it was suggested in Qualifier 2, the Royals will rely on Trent Bolt for initial success. They will be hoping that Pace famous Krishna and Obed McCoy, who have great variations, can repeat their Friday show, when they violated RCB by six wickets. RR will want their taker legi Yuzbendra Chahal, the ‘Purple Cap’ holder, to bounce back after being bowled out for 77 in eight overs in the last two matches.

Ironically, the Titan’s journey bears striking resemblance to the Royals’ memorable IPL title win in 2008. Like Warne’s team, the Titans are not so much in star power but they have players who have become world-beaters in their day.

Bought by CVC Capital last year, the franchisee ran into trouble when it emerged that they had complained about investing in betting firms outside India. The team was finally given the green light by the BCCI’s legal team and at the top of the list were captain Hardik Pandya, Leggie Rashid Khan and opener Shubhaman Gill. Many did not give them a chance to get out of the league.

However, after starting their campaign with a five-wicket win in Lucknow on 28 March, the Titans, led by Pandya’s great captain, only looked to lose the team. Deprived of superstars, they discover new heroes in every game. Pandya himself has shown a determination, scoring 453. চে 453 runs in 14 matches with four half-centuries.

The key players

Gujarat Titans

David Miller: When the Titans got him from the auction, the senior South African player was thought to have passed his prime. But Miller is a very consistent finisher for Hardik Pandya’s team. Not only did he take big shots in times of need, but Miller also bid his time in times of need and sought to build important partnerships. The Miller-Chahal fight could be the deciding factor in the final.

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Image Credit: BCCI / IPL


Mohammed Shami: This pacer is very consistent with 19 wickets at an economy rate of 7.98. The Titans will rely on Shamir to give them early success. Even at the time of death, Shami has the ability to land his yorker at speed. Another important thing is his big match experience.

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Rashid Khan: It is impossible to look behind the intelligent Rashid Khan, perhaps the best T20 spinner of all time. With 18 wickets and an economy rate of 6.73, Rashid kept the opposition at bay in the middle overs. His influence was such that teams often wanted to play him, which made a difference in 20-over competition. Add to Rashid’s newly-discovered batting prowess, courtesy of some incredibly strong wrists, which have won the Titan a few games.

Rajasthan Royals

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Image Credit: BCCI / IPL

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Joss Butler: The Englishman has sealed the Orange Cup and nothing can be achieved if he goes to the top of the order. After diving into subsequent league games, Butler has regained his touch and is threatening to top the tournament for the second time with 824 runs. If he can go against Shamir in the powerplay, the Royals will get all the fuel they need to kill. It will be interesting to see how he gets to this final in the face of the best attack in the IPL.

Sanju Samson: The RR wheel is another important cog. He may look a touch inconsistent, but Sanju is always looking to play top-gear cricket. That means he doesn’t always get those half-centuries, but 444 is a decent turnover from someone who likes to be on edge. On Sunday, if the Titans manage to get Butler up early, Samson will be responsible for staying a little longer. It remains to be seen whether Samson is ready to cross his cameo and anchor the ship through perforated water.

Yuzbendra Chahal: Chahal Jadukar with 26 wickets at an economy rate of 7.96. He is one of the rare slow bowlers who can be used in the crucial 19th over. It is probably no coincidence that the team is playing the final with the two best legs. Chahal has to come up with his own trick to control Pandya, Miller and Tewatia.

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