Predicting Gujarat Titans’ 3 first-choice overseas players for IPL 2022
Gujarat Titans (GT) will be one of the two new teams making their debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season. They picked up three players – Hardik Pandya (₹15 crores), Rashid Khan (₹15 crores) and Shubman Gill (₹8 crores) – from the draft list ahead of the auction. The franchise named Hardik as their captain for the IPL 2022 season. At the two-day mega auction held in Bengaluru last month, they made a number of interesting purchases. New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was GT’s most expensive buy, with the franchise picking him up for ₹10 crores.
IPL 2022: GT’s key overseas players
Each franchise can field a maximum of four overseas cricketers. We take a look at three names who could be first-choice players in GT’s playing XI during the upcoming edition
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan can walk into any playing XI on the basis of the excellent skills that he possesses. It goes without saying that he will be a first-choice GT player for the upcoming IPL season. The 23-year-old has a proven track record in T20 cricket. Rashid made his debut for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 2017 edition and made an instant impact, claiming 17 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 21.05 and an economy rate of 6.62. His best performance came in 2018 when he ended with 21 wickets from 17 games. Rashid has never picked up less than 17 scalps in any of the IPL editions that he has featured in. Even last year, when SRH finished last, the leggie picked up 18 wickets in 14 games.
New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson’s purchase for ₹10 crores is debatable. However, considering that Alzarri Joseph and Dominic Drakes are the other overseas fast bowling options for GT, Ferguson stands a more than decent chance of making the playing XI on a regular basis. He also has an opportunity to prove that he is worth the price that he has been paid. The 30-year-old represented KKR during the IPL 2021 season, claiming 13 wickets in eight matches at an average of 17.23 and an economy rate of 7.46. He had a mixed season, which ended with a forgettable effort in the final when he conceded 56 runs in his four overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and went wicketless. Ferguson has the potential to be an X factor in the GT squad, given his ability to generate excess pace and he has a very good yorker in his arsenal as well. But his fitness is a concern as he has been highly injury-prone. The pacer has an impressive T20 record. He has claimed 112 wickets at a strike rate of 17.8 and an economy of 7.54. GT will be hoping he can be an asset to the franchise during IPL 2022.
Being the in-form keeper-batter in the squad, Australia’s T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final hero Matthew Wade (₹2.4 crores) has a good chance of making the playing XI ahead of Wriddhiman Saha, whose T20 fortunes are on the downslide. Saha only managed 131 runs in nine games for SRH during the 2021 edition. GT also have Rahmanullah Gurbaz who can keep wickets, but he is likely to be a backup option. With Jason Roy pulling out of the IPL 2022 edition, Wade is set to open the innings with Shubman Gill.