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  5. IPL 2022: Be ruthless and relax post game, says skipper Hardik after guiding Gujarat to Playoffs

IPL 2022: Be ruthless and relax post game, says skipper Hardik after guiding Gujarat to Playoffs

Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya speaks on how his side registered a thumping victory and became the first team to enter the IPL 2022 Playoffs.

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: May 11, 2022 15:35 IST
Hardik Pandya
Image Source : IPL

Hardik Pandya celebrates with Rashid Khan after Gujarat Titans became the first team to secure IPL 2022 Playoffs berth. 

Lucknow Super Giants became the first team to qualify for IPL 2022 Playoffs and skipper Hardik Pandya has revealed the success behind his team's entry into the knockout stage. With 18 points from 12 games, Gujarat's maiden IPL season is off to a flyer and is now one of the strong title contenders. 

"Really, really proud of the boys. It is a great effort to qualify before the 14th game in this league. We just wanted to be ruthless today, and relax post game," Hardik said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Gujarat lost back to back matches before bouncing back with a thumping win to enter the Playoffs in style. 

"To be honest, in the last game, we kind of thought that the game was over before it was over. We were always under pressure in all the other games that we won, and we felt that we'd finish off the last game with the kind of batting we had. That was learning we took," he said.

"I always feel that if you lose a game like the one we lost in our last game, we win and lose games as a team. Yes, we did not do what we wanted to do. We messed it up, but we messed it up as a team."

The skipper was also full praise of his bowlers who defending 145, bowled out LSG for 82 in 13.5 overs.

"Our bowlers did everything that we asked of them, and we ticked all boxes today."

Losing skipper KL Rahul was composed and praised his batters. However, Rahul blamed his batsmen for the loss. 

"It looked like a tricky wicket, that's how it's played here for the last 2 or 3 games that we have played here. We knew it was a low-scoring game, we knew it was a tricky and challenging pitch, we bowled really well. Restricting a team under 150 on any pitch is commendable and the bowlers did their job," Rahul said.

"We should have batted a lot better. Some poor shot selections, a run-out didn't help, good learning for us, hopefully we can learn from a loss like this. Sometimes you need a little bit of a reminder to keep turning up every game and keep trying to do our best," he said.

Star spinner Rashid Khan turned the tide with a brilliant show with the ball and shut his critics with figures of 4 for 24. Rashid, who was struggling to find his rhythm was happy that he got his line and length right. 

"Those couple of games which did not go well was all about my line and length. That was something I was missing in those games. The pace I bowl and action I have, I cannot afford to lose my line and length, it was about focusing on hitting the right area. The wicket was helping today with bounce and turn, but overall it was about bowling in the right areas," Rashid said.