The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) concluded with a worthy final between two of the most deserving teams of the season. Gujarat Titans (GT) got the better of Rajasthan Royals (RR) to cap off an incredible debut season by winning their first IPL trophy. It was a fairy tale ride for the Titans, who had saved the best for last and put in a clinical performance in the final to clinch the elusive trophy for the first time.
Hardik Pandya received the prestigious trophy after a magnificent tournament for the Titans. The versatile star was leading a team for the first time in his IPL career and displayed exceptional leadership qualities to prove why he can be one of the strong contenders to captain Team India in the future.
It was a memorable season for Hardik and his men, who proved opponents wrong with excellent cricket throughout the tournament. Debunking the myth that the trophy is won at the auction table, Gujarat Titans, who few had given a chance after the mega auction earlier this year, got the most out of their players and had to wait less than a lot for their first title. .
While Hardik enjoyed a phenomenal debut campaign as captain of the Gujarat Titans, not all of the new captains failed to impress with their leadership in IPL 2022. There were a total of four new captains, who captained a team for the first time in their IPL career. this year and all four have had contrasting journeys.
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While Hardik was their captain by the Titans, Royal Challengers Bangalore replaced the powerful Virat Kohli with a cool and calm head in Faf du Plessis. Mayank Agarwal took charge of the Punjab Kings after the departure of KL Rahul and it was Ravindra Jadeja, who was in charge of the Chennai Super Kings after MS Dhoni pulled off another surprise by stepping down from the captaincy ahead of the season for go back. later.
Here’s a look at how the four new captains fared in IPL 2022:
The most impressive of the lot was undoubtedly Hardik Pandya, who proved a lot of wrong by displaying brilliant leadership qualities throughout the season. After being released by Mumbai Indians, Hardik was made captain by the Gujarat Titans debutants, with many questioning the decision to hand over the reins to the versatile star, who had faced injury problems over the past few years. last two years and had not contributed. a lot with the ball either.
Hardik led from the front early in the season and promoted himself in order to take on more batting responsibility. Although he did not regularly bowl, he always stepped in when his team needed him with the ball and picked up wickets at crucial times. In addition to being an inspiring leader, he has always let his game do the talking on the pitch.
Hardik finished as the top run-getter for the Titans with 487 runs in 15 games and also took 8 wickets. He delivered an overall winning performance in the final against Rajasthan Royals to propel his side to their maiden title with 3 wickets and 34 runs. Hardik became only the third captain in IPL history to win the man of the match award in an IPL final.
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Expectations weren’t too high from Ravindra Jadeja after surprisingly taking over from MS Dhoni as captain of Chennai Super Kings ahead of IPL 2022. Although there are indications that CSK could be grooming a successor for Dhoni under him this season, few expected. the legendary wicket-striker to give up the captaincy and not lead the team at all this season.
It turned out that Dhoni once again managed to surprise his fans by handing over the charge to Jadeja. CSK got off to a scorching start and needed to bounce back, but ended up losing their first four games in a row before claiming their first win over RCB in their fifth game of the season.
Jadeja looked far from a leader in the field and struggled to muster his troops initially. His bowling changes were uncovered and the absence of key players through injury did not help his cause. The pressure got the better of the formidable all-rounder who weighed on his personal game.
He was failing to deliver with the bat and the wickets had also gone dry. If that wasn’t enough, Jadeja also made some costly mistakes on the pitch. Before it could get any worse, Jadeja decided to step down and hand the reins back to Dhoni after six defeats and only two wins in his first eight matches. Safe to say, it was far from a perfect captaincy stint for Jadeja and was short-lived which ended with only a few wins in 8 games.
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The Punjab Kings were once again left without a leader of the pack ahead of the start of IPL 2022 after KL Rahul decided to part ways with the franchise. The Punjab Kings had invested in Rahul in 2018 in a bid to groom their future leader in him, but his exit left the franchise once again looking for a captain in the mega auction.
As they bought experienced campaigners in Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada and Jonny Bairstow, the Punjab Kings showed their faith in Mayank Agarwal for the leadership role. Mayank had been with the franchise for quite some time now and had also gained significant experience internationally and domestically.
However, he couldn’t impress much on his debut as captain and had an average run with the franchise. The Punjab Kings remained inconsistent throughout the tournament and did not win two games in a row once. They came close but failed to qualify for the playoffs with 14 points in 14 games.
Their batting approach was hailed by many as they played aggressive cricket and showed the right intention, but their bowlers sometimes failed to compliment the batters in what was yet another season of ups and downs. for the team coached by Anil Kumble.
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Faf du Plessis
There was immense excitement around the appointment of Faf du Plessis as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the start of the season. Du Plessis had replaced Virat Kohli, a bonafide superstar who had led the team to back-to-back playoffs the past two seasons but failed to get them over the line.
With the arrival of Du Plessis, it looked like RCB could continue to crack the IPL winning code in the 2022 season and it played out at the start of the season. The RCB were a much better unit under the former CSK man, who had been part of several IPL winning teams with the Yellow Army.
Du Plessis had the pedigree of a leader who could inspire RCB to their maiden IPL title and he took them to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. However, the team again faltered on the big stage and were eliminated from the playoffs.
However, there were plenty of bright spots in the RCB campaign as they saw the rise of some of the youngsters like Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror while Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga dazzled with the ball. Many of the current RCB players are only going to get better in the years to come and they could go on to achieve something special if they keep working hard.
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Post expires at 7:02pm on Friday June 10th, 2022