IPL 2023, GT: Squad analysis, schedule, Probable XI, and verdict
Gujarat Titans (GT) will step into Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as defending champions, having clinched the title in their inaugural season. The Ahmedabad-based franchise debuted last year and didn't miss out on making a significant mark. Hardik Pandya led the team from the front as the side tasted glory. As GT aim to replicate their success, here we decode their squad.
Key signings in auction
GT were pretty smart in the auction event as they bought Kane Williamson (Rs. 2 crore) and KS Bharat (Rs. 1.2 crore) for a steal. They invested heavily in pacers Shivam Mavi (Rs. 6 crore) and Joshua Little (Rs. 4.4 crore) after letting go of Lockie Ferguson. They got West Indies all-rounder Odean Smith on board for just Rs. 50 lakh.
Glory in maiden assignment
GT were dominant throughout the previous season as they topped the league stage with 10 wins in 14 games. They then defeated Rajasthan Royals (RR) a couple of times in the next stage to clinch the trophy. The tournament witnessed Pandya's emergence as an able leader as his stellar show earned him a recall to the Indian team.
A look at GT's schedule (1/3)
March 31: vs Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM IST April 4: vs Delhi Capitals vs in Delhi, 7:30 PM IST April 9: vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad, 3:30 PM IST April 13: vs Punjab Kings vs in Mohali, 7:30 PM IST April 16: vs Rajasthan Royals, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM IST April 22: vs Lucknow Super Giants in Lucknow, 3:30 PM IST
A look at GT's schedule (2/3)
April 25: vs Mumbai Indians in Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM IST April 29: vs Kolkata Knight Riders vs in Kolkata, 3:30 PM IST May 2: vs Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM IST May 5: vs Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur, 7:30 PM IST May 7: vs Lucknow Super Giants in Ahmedabad, 3:30PM IST
A look at GT's schedule (3/3)
May 12: vs Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, 7:30 PM IST May 15: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM IST May 21: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru, 7:30 PM IST
A look at GT's squad
Squad: Hardik Pandya (captain), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, R Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma, Joshua Little, Urvil Patel, Shivam Mavi, KS Bharat, Odean Smith, Kane Williamson.
A look at the probable XI
A look at GT's probable XI: Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Shubman Gill, Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya (captain), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Mohammed Shami, R. Sai Kishore, Shivam Mavi.
The strengths of GT
There's hardly any chink in GT's armor as the side has no dearth of quality in all three departments. The likes of Shubman Gill, Hardik, and David Miller scored over 480 runs last season. Williamson's addition has given the side an extra cushion. In Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan, GT also have two of the best bowlers in the business.
Are there any weaknesses?
Williamson's stocks in T20 cricket have come down in recent times due to his 'below-par' strike rate. Hence, GT can be in a spot of bother if Matthew Wade, who struggled last season, fails to get going. Though pacers Shami, Mavi, and Joseph have done well in the wicket-taking department, they tend to leak runs in a cluster at times.
Verdict: GT can enjoy another dream season
What would add to the side's confidence is the fact that the likes of Gill, Miller, Shami, Joseph, and even Hardik have been in fine form lately. Meanwhile, GT's ability to handle crunch moments was the major reason behind their triumph last season. As there aren't many major changes to the squad, Hardik's men will fancy their chances to taste the glory again.