Puno, May 11: Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya praised his players for reaching the IPL 2022 playoffs in their debut year and said he was very proud of his boys.
Gujarat Titans put on a brilliant bowling performance after Shubman Gill went on an unbeaten 63 to help them post an under-par 144/4 from 20 overs. Then leg-spinning Rashid Khan claimed 4/24 to lead a clinical effort from the bowling unit that dismissed Lucknow Super Giants for 82 in 13.5 overs to help Gujarat Titans win by 62 runs and become the first team to qualify for the playoffs.
“Really proud of the guys. When we started this journey together we obviously believed in ourselves, but going into match 14 to have qualified is a huge effort and really proud of us,” he said in the post-match presentation on Tuesday. .
Pandya said his boys learned a lot from their narrow 5-run loss to bottom side Mumbai Indians.
“The last game, I talked to the guys before I went, I think that game was over before it was over. That was a learning that we took. I think in all the games that we’ve won, we always went under pressure. The last game it was the only game where we were ahead of the game and we knew the type of hitters we have and we would finish it off. But it didn’t happen. That was the talk of the bunch.
“Even in this game when they were down eight, I said, ‘Let’s be ruthless. This game is beautiful. If it’s not over, it’s not over. So let’s make sure we finish it. If they’re down, let’s move on.” calm down, do this and relax after the game,” Pandya said.
He praised his hitters, especially Shubman Gill, for helping them reach a total they could defend.
“The way everybody hit, especially Shubman, I felt like at 145 we were in the game. I think his bowling was too short. A little bit longer worked. So that was the conversation in the group as well. The only two shots that they can score runs if they’re coverage, if you throw really wide or if you go wide. The pitchers did everything they were supposed to do and we met all the requirements,” he said.