Former IPL veteran Imran Tahir spoke about the key points ahead of Tuesday's clash between the Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Gujarat Titans (GT). Tahir hailed the Titans for their consistency and agreed that hardly anybody expected them to play this way in their debut.
Gujarat Titans have been the most consistent side in IPL 2022, having lost only one out of nine games so far. Hardik Pandya & co. have defended modest totals and chased mammoth scores with the help of their lower-order batters.
Speaking on ESPN Cricinfo's Timeout, Tahir said that before the commencement of IPL 2022, not many gave the Titans a chance. However, he stated that performing so well in their debut season is a testament to GT's consistency and team combination. He said:
"When the IPL started, hardly anybody expected them to beat experienced teams and from challenging situations. To achieve it so quickly and reaching the playoffs stage in their first year of participation, is a massive feat. I think it's their consistency and you can't take any side for granted. Now, if any team's combination clicks, they end up on the winning side and I feel that's what has worked for the Gujarat Titans."
The 43-year old further stated that Gujarat Titans have performed well collectively, with different players stepping up to win games. He elaborated:
"Whatever matches they have won so far, they have done it as a team. The most special thing about the Titans is they are not over-reliant on anyone and their player of the matches have been different. I feel the captain and team management don't have much to worry about when they have so many match-winners because they know any player can step up in a given situation. They have proved it which is why they are successful."
The likes of Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, and David Miller have forged a formidable lower-order combination for GT. Tewatia and Miller have won three games with the bat, with the latter averaging 69 in nine innings by scoring 276 runs. The southpaw has also maintained a strike rate of 150.81.
Imran Tahir dissects Rashid Khan's bowling in IPL 2022
Tahir was then asked why the opposition batters always seem to struggle against Rashid Khan. The South African observed that along with bowling quick through the air, Rashid gains a sharp turn which troubles the batters. The Pakistan-born player added:
"He is a different type of bowler and his pace through the air is a lot. When a leg-spin bowls through the air, he has to make it slow through the air for turn. Rashid is different because he bowls quick through the air because of which batters struggle. Along with bowling quick through the air, he has the ability to turn the ball. That's why his bowling stands apart from the other leg-spinners."
Khan has so far taken nine wickets in as many games in IPL 2022, averaging 28.44. He earned the 'Player of the Match' award against the SunRisers Hyderabad for his cameo of 11-ball 31* as they chased down a target of 195.
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