IPL LIVE, GT vs RR Final: Where to Win or Lose Gujarat Titans vs Rajasthan Royals Final

Jos 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. ‚Äč‚ÄčThat should keep the Gujarat bowlers on their toes.

Test for speed: 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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The PowerPlay expert: Incidentally, both the Royals and Titans took the most wickets in the first six overs this year – 26. Titans, however, have Mohammed Shami, who has 11 wickets at this stage, the most of any bowler this season. They have also come up with an economy of 6.57. Shami’s fight with Royals’ in-form opener Jos Buttler could set the course for the match.

The asset: Gujarat Titans’ leg spinner Rashid Khan will be his biggest weapon when he takes to the field against the Royals on Sunday. Against the same opponent, in Qualifier 1, Rashid finished 4-0-15-0 as he harassed them with his mistakes and pace. At his post-match press conference, Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya had said this when asked about Rashid’s impact. “When I give him the ball, I relax and let him do his magic.” Rashid has 18 wickets in 15 matches against an economy of under seven. His match-up with the Royals batters, who have the best run rate (8.50) against spin in IPL-15, could have a telling impact on the game.

Hardik Pandya, the captain: More than Hardik the bowler or the batsman of the middle, it is Hardik the captain who has emerged as one of the biggest surprises of IPL 2022. Not only has he grabbed the new ball on countless occasions, he also has a new role created for himself with the bat at No. 3. Hardik’s field awareness and bowling changes were evident. In the game against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 23, he asked the pacers to use the short-ball trick and defend a total of 156 as Titans won by eight runs. Hardik hopes for a dream end to his debut season as captain.

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