GT vs RR IPL Match Prediction: Who will win today's Gujarat vs Rajasthan IPL 2022 Qualifier 1 match?

Trent Boult was taken apart by Moeen Ali in the Rajasthan Royals' final league-stage game
Trent Boult was taken apart by Moeen Ali in the Rajasthan Royals' final league-stage game
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Sai Krishna

The 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) carnival moves from Mumbai to Kolkata on Tuesday, May 24, when the Gujarat Titans (GT) take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 1.

The two top-placed teams at the end of the league stage have had contrasting paths to Qualifier 1. GT coasted to the top spot with 10 wins from 14 games, becoming the first team to qualify for the playoffs as well as the first team to assure themselves of two cracks at the final. RR, on the other hand, needed a nervy win over the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their final league-stage encounter to book their Qualifier 1 berth.

Nevertheless, context matters little now that both IPL teams have made the playoffs as the best in the competition. While RR will want to reach their first final since the inaugural IPL season, GT will want their box-office team to capture eyes across the country when it really matters. Led by dynamic captains who commandeer potent bowling attacks, Qualifier 1 is bound to be a tightly contested affair.

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IPL 2022 Match Prediction: GT vs RR

Boult will be tasked with dismissing the GT top order within the powerplay
Boult will be tasked with dismissing the GT top order within the powerplay

Jos Buttler's form has dipped drastically in the second half of IPL 2022, with the IPL Orange Cap holder having been dismissed by early pace and swing several times over the last two weeks. Although RR's other top-order batters have stepped up to take some of the pressure off Buttler, the Englishman needs to find his bearings immediately.

Up against Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson and Yash Dayal, Buttler will have his task cut out. The last time the two sides met, he got off to a flier before Ferguson deceived him with a beautiful slower yorker. Unless one of the GT bowlers can produce something special to get rid of the leading run-scorer of the year, the Royals could dominate the powerplay before consolidating in the middle overs against the likes of Rashid Khan.

Conversely, RR will want to see the back of Wriddhiman Saha early. The GT opener has piled on the runs since making his way into the playing XI, with even Shubman Gill happy to play second-fiddle in the powerplay. Saha will have to counter the swing of Trent Boult, the pace and bounce of Prasidh Krishna and the guile of Obed McCoy.

The battle of the openers headlines Qualifier 1, but there are other sub-plots that sweeten the plot for fans. Sanju Samson won't hold back against any spinner not named Rashid Khan, and R Sai Kishore - who has been hugely impressive in IPL 2022 thus far - could face a real test against Samson and the southpaw trio of Devdutt Padikkal, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shimron Hetmyer.

GT have lost three of their last five games, with their dip in form coinciding with that of captain Hardik Pandya. Unless Pandya can deliver a sizeable knock in his first playoff game as skipper, the rest of the Titans batting lineup might have too much to do against a well-rounded RR attack.

With big names like Buttler and Samson bound to deliver significantly soon, the Royals are slight favorites to become the first team to make the IPL 2022 final. However, anything can happen in the playoff spotlight.

Prediction: RR to win Qualifier 1 of IPL 2022

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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