After U19 World Cup, winning the IPL is just as big: Shubman Gill

The Gujarat Titans completed an emphatic win against the Rajasthan Royals in the final of IPL 2022 in front of their jubilant home crowd in Ahmedabad. The new franchise, led by Hardik Pandya, showed no signs of nerves as they got over the line quite comfortably in the end. One of the heroes on the night, Shubman Gill, termed this win as big as winning the U19 World Cup.

Gill stayed at the crease till the end of the game in a tricky chase as he smacked a six off Obed McCoy to seal their maiden IPL trophy. The former KKR opener was on the losing side in last year’s final against Chennai Super Kings and was determined to make amends as he played a responsible knock of 45 (43 balls).

The elegant batter lost his opening partner, Wriddhiman Saha, early in the chase, but he stitched crucial partnerships with Hardik Pandya and David Miller to see his side home. Shubman Gill had his most productive season in IPL scoring 483 runs this year. His IPL success is no surprise to anyone as the young opener is adept at scoring important runs at the biggest of stages.

His unbeaten 102 against Pakistan in the U19 World Cup semi-final was one of the best innings of the tournament. Gill was named the Player of the series in that tournament after a string of stellar performances.

“It means a lot. After winning the Under-19 World Cup, winning the IPL is just as big. It is my fourth year. I wanted to be there till the end, and that was the talk with the coaches. Glad I took them over the line. Our bowlers bowled really well to restrict them to 130. We wanted to keep them under 150, but fortunately, it was much less,” Gill told broadcasters after Gujarat’s triumph.

The Hardik Pandya show

Earlier, Sanju Samson won the toss and decided to bat first. The Rajasthan openers were off to a decent start in the powerplay but after Yashasvi Jaiswal’s dismissal, the Royals kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The wicket of Jos Buttler in the 13th over proved to be the killer blow as the Rajasthan side managed to reach an underwhelming tally of 130 runs in their 20 overs.

Hardik Pandya, who had a great season with the bat in IPL 2022, ran riot with the ball in hand as he picked up three wickets in his four overs, conceding just 17 runs. He broke the back of Rajasthan innings by picking up all-important wickets of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and Shimron Hetmyer. Pandya continued his good form with the bat as he scored a handy 34 off 30 deliveries after his side was in a spot of bother at 23/2. His partnership with Gill steadied the ship for the Titans and David Miller finished it off along with the opener.