Gujarat and Rajasthan will lock horns in the first game of the Indian T20 League Playoffs. The Indian T20 League debutants had a dream season with 10 wins in 14 games of the league stage. On the other hand, the 2008-winners won nine out of their 14 games. However, these things count for little in the playoffs as the stakes are really high over here.
Talking about the game, the winner will advance straight to the final, while the loser will get another chance to qualify for the final in Qualifier 2. Both teams would like to win the game and have a rest for a few days ahead of the final, as it will be played on May 29. However, the game might be impacted by rain as Kolkata is experiencing heavy rains and thunderstorms for the last few days
The Ahmedabad-based team is coming off a loss in their last league game against Bangalore. However, they wouldn’t be too worried about this coming into the first qualifier. However, they need to zero in on a number three batter. They have tried the likes of Vijay Shankar, Sai Sudharsan, and Matthew Wade but none have provided stability. They can take a chance on someone like a Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Apart from this, the team looks well settled as they have batters such as skipper Hardik Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, David Miller, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, and Rashid Khan. Talking about their bowling, including Rashid, they have the likes of Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, R Sai Kishore, and Yash Dayal. Their bowling is their stronger suit so far.
Wridhhiman Saha: The wicketkeeper batter has been providing solid starts to the team since he started to open the innings. The right-hander has scored 312 runs in nine games averaging 39 and striking at 124.80. He could be an important player in the next game.
Mohammed Shami: The right-arm pacer has been shacking the opposite batters with early wickets in the powerplay. He has picked 18 wickets in 14 games averaging 22.89, striking at 17.67, and conceded runs at just 7.77 per over. He could be one to watch out for.
Probable Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, R Sai Kishore, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal
The Pink brigade is coming off a win against four-time winners, Chennai in their last game. With the winning momentum to their side, they are looking to storm into the finals. However, they need Jos Buttler to get back to the groove. Although he has been the highest run-getter this season, the Englishman hasn’t been at his best in the last few games.
Thus, he is due for a good game. Besides, he had hit three hundreds earlier in the tournament. Apart from this, the team looks like a well-oiled machine having players such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, skipper Sanju Samson, Shimron Hetmyer, Trent Boult, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, etc.
Yashasvi Jaiswal: The left-hander has been tremendous in the last few games. He has been provided great starts to the team as they are dealing with Buttler’s loss of form. He holds the key to the team’s success in the next game.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The leg-spinner has been the highest wicket-taker with 26 wickets in the tournament. He has been outfoxing the batters in the middle overs and also has been putting brakes on opposition run-scoring. He could be an important bowler in the next game.
Probable Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, R Ashwin, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna, Obed McCoy
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Date: May 24, 2022
Broadcasting details: Star Sports and Disney + Hotstar
This is the first game at the venue. The last few days have seen persistent rains which means the seamers might get some help from the atmosphere and the surface. Expect both teams to bowl first after winning the toss.