Gujarat Titans are on a roll in TATA IPL 2023 and are one step away from reaching the playoffs for the second season running. In a season where we have seen power-hitting like never before, our bowlers have continued to live up to the high-pressure situations and produced some stellar performances. 

Our Director of Cricket Vikram Solanki addressed the press in Mumbai and praised our leadership group for creating an environment where everyone can excel.

“Our group is very well experienced and it is very well led by Hardik Pandya and Ashish Nehra. They set a very good example, to help maintain a good environment for everyone,” Solanki said.  

“It’s tough particularly this year, the Impact Player has lengthened the batting line-ups. This is the premier competition in the world as far as franchise cricket is concerned and you expect the batters to be very skilled. But you’ll see that bowlers do find ways to control things. That might be different from one bowler to the other but our thought process is to be as attacking as we can. I think it is the best way to control the run flow.”

A lot of big scores have been chased down with ease this season, but Solanki suggests that it is ill-advised to prepare for a strategy based on previous matches. 

“It would be dangerous for a team to make judgements based on what has happened before. What we have to do is look at the conditions on the day and make an assessment accordingly as the game progresses. Your best way to read a pitch is to react to how it is playing out once the game starts and react accordingly,” he explained.  

Good communication is of great importance in a tournament like this, where there are plenty of highs and lows, providing the players key learning curves. Solanki says that the group enjoys every conversation about cricket and there is plenty to learn from each other. 

“We all love the game and although we enjoy the serious discussions as it helps to develop, we try to seek those conversations with one another to get better. From the seniors to the juniors, everyone has a contribution to make. Talking about the change in batting approach, it is pretty much the younger group that is leading that innovation and encouraged by seniors of their respective teams. Discussions don’t have to be serious, we enjoy every cricketing conversation,” he added.  

Our Titans currently occupy the top spot in the points table and there are plenty of positives for the team to take confidence from. However, the unpredictability of this tournament continues to surprise everyone and Solanki feels nothing should be taken for granted.

“I don’t think we can take anything for granted in this competition. Even in games where we feel things are wrapped up, there’s a new twist coming up. It has happened on a number of occasions, so we cannot take our position for granted. Things are very tight this season, it would not be advised to take things for granted,” Solanki explained.

Talking about Vijay Shankar’s terrific run of form with the bat in TATA IPL 2023, Solanki said, “Vijay has been outstanding. We have admired his effort, focus and desire to contribute to the team and improve himself as a cricketer. He works on every aspect of his game. We saw it last year and he always tries to be the best version of himself.” 

Mohammad Shami currently has 19 wickets in 11 matches, only one wicket shy of equalling his tally from last season. Our Director of Cricket was full of praise for our talismanic pacer. 

“To put it simply, he is an exceptional bowler. Regardless of the format, regardless of the game situation, the skill that he has makes him a force in any format of the game. I don’t get tired of talking about his immaculate seam presentation. He has excellent control over the channels he wants to bowl and has a huge part to play for us. We are pleased that he continues to play this way,” Solanki said.  

Next up, we lock horns against the Mumbai Indians at Wankhede on Friday, a stadium where we won three of our four matches last season.