All plans are geared, grocery pick up deferred to mid-week, movie night shelved and favourite order-ins lined up. The IPL Finale on May 29 is a date most Indians have set with their tele sets, smart devices or the mobile screen. The cultural programme starts onwards 6:30 pm while the match takes centre-stage at 8pm.
As home team Gujarat Titans take on Rajasthan Royals, here are five reasons why you should place your bet on Titans:
Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya.
If Dravid and Mahi were termed cool, this guy is “super cool.” He is a leader and a team player. Earlier, word was rife about how team mentors were divided over Pandya donning the skipper’s cap, given that his fitness was on a recuperative mode before the IPL season. But he proved his backers right!! Not only as a batter who is now sitting at the No 4 spot, but also as a bowler. Pandya may not be a wicket grabber but he is known to be stingy with batsmen.
Strong Bowling Line-Up
A slower-down of run rate in Rashid, a freer hand to score and be caught out in Shami and, of course, the imperative clean bowler in Sai Kishore…. GT’s bowling squad is a “to-watch-out-for.” Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan, Yash Dayal, Lockie Ferguson and Sai Kishore picked up wickets regularly. Even Alajari Joseph has done well in the season. Dayal and Joseph are known to deliver up to 145 kmph.
David Miller-Rahul Tewatia Partnership
Of all the matches won, GT clinched victory while batting in the second innings. And credit for this goes to dependable closing line batsmen, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia. Each time GT was faced with the daunting task of catching up to the target in the last couple of overs, these two great finishers did it! Miller’s score card reads 449 runs at an average of 64.14 per match. He has been the team’s most consistent player. At the same time, Tewatia notched 217 runs in 15 matches.
Young Blood Given Full Flow
Unlike many dressing-room stories where younger players are cut short in their flight, GT reposed its trust in all alike. As a result, youngsters Sai Kishore and Yash Dayal have emerged to the fore. Even though Sai was given a chance late in the league, Dayal played a lot of matches from the start. Sai Sudarshan is also among the promising names to watch out for.
Playing on Home Turf!!
The fact that GT is playing the finals in their own bastion lends a psychological advantage. No doubt the 65,000 people-strong chorus of “Titans! Titans!” will bolster team morale and hence impact the physical play.