Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra has admitted that he is surprised by Gujarat Titans (GT) and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) success in IPL 2022. According to Chopra, neither franchise seemed to have picked a balanced squad at the auction, but have been able to overcome their shortcomings commendably.
Gujarat have won six of their seven IPL 2022 matches so far and are currently in second position in the points table. Hyderabad began with two losses, but have since registered five wins on the trot and are occupying third place.
The two teams will lock horns on Wednesday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Previewing the clash on his YouTube channel, Chopra reflected on how both sides have done well despite their obvious weaknesses. He explained:
“I was surprised when I watched these two teams at the auction. GT only had Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya in the batting and hardly anyone else. Hyderabad picked overseas batters but they didn’t look suited to Indian conditions. They also did not pick a proper spinner. Washington Sundar was the only gun spinner in the squad. Their (GT and SRH’s) auction strategy seemed puzzling, but now they are surprising us with their performances.”
When the two sides met during the first half of IPL 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad got the better of Gujarat by eight wickets.
“You might not find a better attack in the competition” – Aakash Chopra on GT’s bowling
Analyzing Gujarat’s bowling, Chopra opined that, on present form, they look like the best in the competition. Praising the GT attack, the 44-year-old said:
“What is working for GT is the bowling, which is gun. You might not find a better bowling attack in the competition at this point in time. With money, you buy either stocks or real estate. GT decided to buy big real estate and purchased Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, Alzarri Joseph and Yash Dayal. Hardik Pandya is also bowling. This is the strength of the team.”
Chopra elaborated that, apart from skill, there is a lot of variety in the bowling as well. He pointed out:
“Gujarat have pace and variety as well. Dayal is a left-armer, Ferguson is a gun death bowler, and Shami a gun new ball bowler. Alzarri Joseph comes in and does a good job in the middle overs. Rashid is obviously a great spinner.”
Shami is the leading wicket-taker for Gujarat in IPL 2022 so far. He has claimed 10 scalps in seven matches. Ferguson has picked up nine and Rashid eight.