Jos Buttler reached his fourth century of the 2022 Indian Premier League to lead Rajasthan Royals to the final as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
The Royals will face Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday. These are the four-player battles that Rajasthan Royals has to beat against Gujarat Titans on Sunday.
Buttler mania: Jos Buttler, the current Orane Cap holder with 824 runs, will pose the biggest threat to Gujarat Titans on Sunday. He has four centuries in IPL 2022, the highest total for any player in a T20 series or tournament. Virat Kohli also scored four centuries in the 2016 edition of the IPL. Buttler’s hundred against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2 is just second in an IPL playoff match while chasing. Shane Watson of Chennai Super Kings scored an unbeaten 117 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2018 final. It is also the first century for Rajasthan Royals in an IPL playoff match. Buttler’s ability to speed up the scoring percentage without taking too many unnecessary risks and taking down the opponent’s best bowlers set him apart. His knockout against the Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1, although in a losing case, was the perfect example. He had been luged to 30 out of 31 at one point but finished at 89 out of 56. The Royals hammered 64 of the last five overs with Buttler only 52. That should keep the Gujarat bowlers on their toes.
How can Gujarat Titans win IPL 2022: Four player battles GT needs to win against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday
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Try at pace: Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy took three wickets each to limit Royal Challengers to 157 for 8 in the second qualifier. On a field that offered extra bounce and movement in the air and off the surface, the Royals tempo duo got a good buy of good length and short deliveries of good length. Prasidh threw an impressive 19th, clearing the in-form Dinesh Karthik from the first ball and then clearing Wanindu Hasaranga with a yorker. This was after Prasidh, in his first over, left Virat Kohli behind. McCoy and Prasidh, in the company of Yuzvendra Chahal, conceded just 25 from the last four overs. Their match-up with the Gujarat Titans finishers, who had 10.82 runs per left from 17-20, could be the deciding factor.
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Spider problems: Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin scored 76 runs in their combined eight overs against RCB in Qualifier 2, taking just one wicket. However, against Gujarat Titans, which have the third-worst run rate against spin (7.76) this season, Chahal and Ashwin’s role in the middle overs becomes doubly important. Tied with Wanindu Hasaranga (26) for the most wickets this IPL, Chahal will also try to grab the Purple Cap and cement his status as one of the IPL-15’s most influential performers.
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Leading from the front: Sanju Samson’s 55 out of 27 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad was his highest score so far in IPL 2022. There have been a few 30s and 40s but the Royals captain has yet to light up the stage as he is known to be which can. That doesn’t stop the Titans from being wary of the right-handers, though. Samson was strict against spin this season, hitting 160 in 14 innings and was sacked six times. His meeting with Titans’ Rashid Khan and R Sai Kishore could dictate the tone of RR’s innings and ultimately his fate on Sunday.