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  5. Shubman Gill's form or Hardik Pandya's absence? What hurt Gujarat Titans more in IPL 2024?

Shubman Gill's form or Hardik Pandya's absence? What hurt Gujarat Titans more in IPL 2024?

Gujarat Titans finished IPL 2024 with five wins, seven losses and two no results. For the first time in three years, they couldn't qualify for the playoffs. What was the main reason behind their downfall? Hardik Pandya's absence? Shubman Gill's form? Or Injury to key players?

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: May 17, 2024 17:02 IST
Shubman Gill
Image Source : INDIA TV Gujarat Titans couldn't make it to playoffs in IPL 2024

IPL 2022 - Winners. IPL 2023 - Runners Up. IPL 2024 - Not among top 6. What happened to Gujarat Titans this year? The team that lifted the trophy in its maiden season and was within one ball of defending it in the next edition was nowhere close to its best this time around. They had to change their captain with Hardik Pandya opting to return to his old franchise - Mumbai Indians - in the trading window before the auction. Shubman Gill took over the reins, definitely not in ideal circumstances. But did captaincy hurt his own form too? What all went wrong for GT in IPL 2024? Let us find out...

Tracking Shubman Gill's performance in IPL 2024

Gill ended IPL 2024 with 426 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 147.4 with a century and two fifties. These numbers got amplified significantly with his century against Chennai Super Kings which eventually turned out to be their last outings thanks to washouts in their last two league matches vs KKR and SRH. After starting IPL 2024 with 255 runs in six matches at a strike rate in excess of 150, Gill lost his form in the middle of the season. He could only muster 67 runs in next five outings and strike rate dipped to almost 100 and then came the century vs CSK when they were almost out of playoff contention.

Compare this with IPL 2023 when he smashed a staggering 890 runs in 17 innings at a strike-rate of 157.80 with three centuries and four fifties. The numbers are in stark contrast when it comes to his performance this season and that had an effect on the team's run-rate in powerplay as well. Add to it, Wriddhiman Saha's poor form this season and things only went from bad to worse. Saha was dropped by the time they played against CSK and Gill himself admitted that him and Sai Sudharsan were the best opening duo of GT.

Hardik Pandya's absence from middle order

Gujarat Titans and the entire world knew of Hardik Pandya's move to Mumbai Indians before the auction. The team tried to address it by picking Afghanistan's all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai. But unfortunately, he couldn't fill Pandya's boots this season. Omarzai played only seven matches scoring 42 runs in four innings and picking up four wickets in 21 overs he bowled. 

On the contrary, when Hardik Pandya was at the helm of the side in the last two years, the man scored 346 runs in 2023 and 487 runs in 2022 and this is where the balance went wrong for the IPL 2022 champions. On the bowling front, Hardik's absence didn't make much of a difference as even he picked 11 wickets across two seasons but Omarzai couldn't match his heroics with the bat.

 

David Miller's form and absence due to injury

One of the major reasons of GT doing well in the last two editions was David Miller's form who was coming down the order and plundering runs on a consistent basis at a brilliant strike rate. He remained unbeaten on a staggering 14 occasions in 29 innings in last two years which indicates that the southpaw finished matches for the Titans most of the times while scoring runs at a strike rate in excess of 140. 

Miller didn't get going at all this season despite the fact that he scored 210 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 151. This is because the left-hander was left to do too much a lot of times and despite his efforts, the team couldn't end on the winning side. Hardik's absence in the middle order hurt GT more in this aspect as all the pressure fell on Miller who couldn't play five due to injury during the season as well. This means, the Titans didn't have anyone to fall back on in the middle order when Miller wasn't playing.

Mohit Sharma's form, Rashid Khan not at his best and Mohammed Shami's absence

Mohammed Shami hasn't played since the ODI World Cup ended in November 2023 due to ankle injury. He had picked 17 wickets last season alone in the powerplay and the Titans missed him badly with the ball.

Their death overs enforcer Mohit Sharma lost steam in the middle of the season after a bright start. He accounted for eight scalps in the first six matches but things turned for worse in the second half of the season as Mohit even ended up conceding the worst figures in the history of IPL (0/73 in four overs). Overall, his economy this season read 10.89 and this hit the Titans hard.

Another possible reason why the Gujarat Titans weren't at their best was Rashid Khan not being at his best returning a long injury layoff. He underwent back surgery after the World Cup and made a comeback just before the IPL playing in a three-match T20I series for Afghanistan. Rashid picked only 10 wickets in 12 matches and not more than two in a single match ever.

All these factors certainly played a role in the Gujarat side not making it to the playoffs but one thing to note that this was Shubman Gill's first season as captain as well. The new responsibility must have affected his batting form but the man should comeback prepared for the next season and with mega auction set to happen next year, Gill could be ready for the challenge with a new look side.

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