Fortune was not on our side on Sunday against KKR, but we move on to our second away match of the season against Punjab Kings in Mohali.
Gujarat Titans are off to a good start in the TATA IPL 2023, kick-starting their campaign with two wins on the trot. There was a little halt in momentum when the Kolkata Knight Riders produced a spectacular finish at the Narendra Modi Stadium last Sunday, but there were plenty of terrific individual performances from our Titans to take positives from.
Not many can forget the spectacular finish provided by Rahul Tewatia last season when we met Punjab Kings, where we needed 12 runs in two balls and our cool-as-ice all-rounder delivered. The Kings won the reverse fixture, making it all square between the sides in TATA IPL so far.
Vijay Shankar made the #TitansFAM jump out of their seats when he launched that blitzkrieg in the final two overs against KKR. He brought up his first half-century since joining us last season and has taken his run tally this season to 119, at an impressive strike rate of 175. His knock further strengthened our depth in the middle order, which already has a couple of reliable names in David Miller and Rahul Tewatia.
Rashid Khan is leading the wicket-taking department for us this season, with eight wickets. Our Afghan superstar picked up his first hat-trick in this tournament, sending alarm bells to the opponents of what might arrive next. Alzarri Joseph and Mohammad Shami have been chipping in with crucial breakthroughs as well, snaring six wickets each so far.
Peak into the opponent’s camp
Punjab Kings were off to a brilliant start in the tournament by winning their first two matches with ease, but faced a setback against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their skipper Shikhar Dhawan has scored 225 runs so far in three matches and has only been dismissed once. A couple of young Indian batters in Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma have been contributing heavily as well.
Titan to watch out for
Mohammad Shami is easily one of the best fast bowlers in the world and since joining us last season, he has been the skipper’s go-to man for all the difficult overs. He has scalped 15 wickets in the powerplay since the beginning of last season (highest in the tournament) and picked up 10 wickets in the death overs. With six wickets already so far at an economy of 8.17.
Hardik Pandya needs 24 runs to complete 2,000 TATA IPL runs.
David Miller, who was formerly a part of the Punjab Kings, has scored 628 runs at the IS Bindra Stadium at a strike rate of 151.
Alzarri Joseph needs two more wickets to complete 100 wickets in T20s.
Since the beginning of last season, our middle order (No. 4 to No. 7) have contributed 1,422 runs, the highest in TATA IPL in the said time frame.
Punjab Kings vs Gujarat Titans, Match 18
Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali