IPL 2022, Gujarat Titans win maiden title: Key takeaways
Gujarat Titans have been crowned champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. The Titans handed Rajasthan Royals a one-sided defeat in the final to win their maiden IPL title. Notably, GT were one of the two newly-introduced sides in the 2022 season besides Lucknow Super Giants. Hardik Pandya gets the silverware in his debut season as captain. Here are the key takeaways.
Gujarat Titans were deemed one of the strongest sides ahead of IPL 2022. Rightly so, the Hardik Pandya-led were the first to qualify for the all-important playoffs. Now, they have become only the second side since 2011 to win the IPL title after topping the points table. Mumbai Indians are the only other side to achieve this feat in this period.
GT had drafted Hardik Pandya after MI decided to release him. The Baroda all-rounder was straightaway appointed the captain, a move that surprised the cricket fraternity. Pandya, who was under the scanner for his fitness, silenced the detractors in style. He led the Titans from the front throughout the season. Besides helping GT win the title, he fared well with both bat and ball.
Rajasthan Royals had their best season since IPL 2008. They finished the league stage behind table-toppers GT. It was the first time since the inaugural season that they finished in the top two. RR also played their first IPL since that season. Sanju Samson could have become only the second captain after Shane Warne to lead RR to an IPL title.
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians endured a rough patch in IPL 2022. The most successful IPL franchise finished 10th after facing 10 defeats. MI failed to reach the playoffs for the second season in a row. They missed the berth by a whisker last season. In 2022, MI became the only side to lose their first eight matches in an IPL season.
Like MI, defending champions Chennai Super Kings fared poorly in IPL 2022. CSK finished above MI on the standings even though the Yellow Army suffered the same number of defeats. CSK faced a captaincy conundrum this season, with Ravindra Jadeja replacing MS Dhoni as skipper. Jadeja then handed back the reins to Dhoni midway through the season. However, it was too late for CSK!
It was the first time that neither MI nor CSK featured in the playoffs of an IPL season. Although the two franchises did not take part in the playoffs of the 2016 season, CSK were suspended at that time (spot-fixing ban).
Ahead of CSK's last league encounter, MS Dhoni, in his own fashion, indicated that he will lead the Yellow Army next year. Dhoni opened up on his future with CSK at the toss (CSK-RR). On being asked whether he will play next year, Dhoni replied, "Definitely! Because it will be unfair not to say thank you to Chennai and CSK fans."
Buttler was a vital cog for RR in IPL 2022. He became the first batter to reach the 800-run mark this season. In Qualifier 2 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Buttler equaled Kohli's record of scoring most hundreds in an IPL edition (four). Buttler also became the first-ever batter to register 200 runs in playoffs of an IPL season.
Buttler now has the second-most runs by a batter in an IPL season (863). He broke the record of David Warner, who slammed 848 runs in 2016. Buttler is also the first-ever RR batter to claim the Orange Cap.
If Buttler led RR with the bat, Yuzvendra Chahal shone with the ball. It turned out to be the best season for the Indian leg-spinner. Chahal finished with 27 wickets, the most in IPL 2022. The wrist-spinner now has the most wickets in an IPL season by a spinner. Former CSK wrist-spinner Imran Tahir took 26 wickets in IPL 2016.
The 15th IPL edition saw the emergence of Indian pacers. Umran Malik, who represented Sunrisers Hyderabad, earned fame due to his searing deliveries. He delivered the fastest ball of the tournament before Lockie Ferguson broke his record in the final. Meanwhile, Arshdeep Singh (Punjab Kings) grabbed eyeballs with his economical spells. Yash Dayal, Mohsin Khan, Mukesh Choudhary, and Simarjeet Singh were also impressive.
Royal Challengers Bangalore still eye their maiden IPL title. They were handed the coveted playoff berth after Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals toward the fag end of the season. RCB were impressive in the Eliminator, beating Lucknow Super Giants. However, they failed to beat RR in Qualifier 2. The Royal Challengers have not qualified for the IPL final since the 2016 season.
The 2022 IPL season revived the international career of Dinesh Karthik, who recently earned a T20I call-up. He racked up 330 runs from 16 matches at an average of 55.00. The middle-order batter struck at a staggering 183.33. DK played some extraordinary knocks for RCB in the death overs this season. He maintained a strike rate of 220.00 in this phase.