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‘You don’t win an IPL title at auction’: Sanjay Mankrekar hails Gujarat Titans after memorable triumph


Gujarat Titans (GT) proved their doubters wrong with a memorable season as they won their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title in their debut campaign. The Hardik Pandya-led side were a force to be reckoned with throughout the tournament and consistently picked up victories to lift the elusive trophy after beating Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the final on Sunday May 29. The Titans have drawn praise from many for their stunning season which has seen a number of people step up and deliver when needed.

They weren’t among the favorites at the start of the tournament but the Gujarat Titans defied the odds and won a few games in unlikely situations after impeccable contributions from their batting and bowling teams. They were the first team to qualify for the playoffs and the first to reach the final after beating RR in the 1st qualifier.

While captain Hardik Pandya, David Miller and Shubman Gill played at bat during the season, Rahul Tewatia played sensational cameos in order and won a few important games as a finisher for his team. In the bowling department, Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan were consistent throughout while Lockie Ferguson, Yash Dayal, R Sai Kishore and Alzarri Joseph played their part.

The Gujarat Titans weren’t among the favorites even for a place in the playoffs after the conclusion of the IPL 2022 mega auction earlier this year. But their team effort was enough to outclass the favorites and take the lead to clinch the prestigious trophy.

Read also : Hardik Pandya to David Miller: 5 heroes of Gujarat Titans’ memorable first IPL triumph

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar hailed Hardik Pandya & Co. and said they had proven the trophy could not be won at the auction table. Manjrekar pointed out how GT took a gamble with players like Miller and Pandya himself, but it all paid off for them.

“Not many people thought they had done well with player selection. The player, the captain and they understood their formula well and they are going to win it,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.

“I think the lesson from this IPL is that you don’t win an IPL title at auction. Mumbai Indians have proven for a while that this is the right way to go but Gujarat Titans just the players which they bet on and what size they paid back with the bet is the story of Gujarat Titans.

“Hardik Pandya’s big bet, David Miller’s massive bet and what a comeback from these guys,” he added.

Read also : Mumbai Indians fans will feel the pain: Ajay Jadeja on Hardik Pandya inspires GT to first IPL title

Pandya, who was released by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the mega auction, was drafted as a captain by the Titans and has led the team extremely well. Hardik displayed exemplary leadership qualities in inspiring the Titans to their first title in their first-ever season. He also saved his best for last and delivered a man of the match performance in the final.

Hardik scored 34 runs and picked up three wickets with the ball to help his team beat RR by 7 wickets in the summit clash. The GT skipper became just the third captain to win the man of the match award in the final and maintained his record of perfect unbeaten in the IPL finals. He has won all five IPL finals he has appeared in so far in his career.

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Post expires at 9:18pm on Friday June 10th, 2022