two leaders who are talent minefields themselves, one team that has flouted all betting odds and the other trying to end a cycle that started 15 summers ago, the ipl final between gujarat titans and rajasthan royals.
It’s about this and much more. When ipl started over two months ago, no one would have believed that the two captains to be drawn in the title fight would be hardik pandya and sanju samson. One of the best sports movies about the proverbial story of the losers that is always writ large. It’s unknown if titans boss hardik saw them, but for him and head coach ashish nehra, the two-month trip was nothing short of spectacular.They made many people eat a humble pie because many, including experts, labeled them a team of nohopers after the auction. , or one-match wonders like rahul tewatia, didn’t look that great on paper. But neither would cricket be called a ‘game of glorious uncertainties’ if everything were decided on paper. And led the way with his performances and is why he will always be an asset to indian cricket.Miller, who played his best cricket at least five years ago, showed his 2.0 version, which surprised everyone. Tewatia proved that those five sixes in sharjah weren’t just a flash in the pan. Rashid khan knew it would be well read, so he narrowed it down even more. Wriddhiman saha had reached an impasse in his career following rahul dravid’s tough talks, but he’s been given a new life and at least one more season to look forward to. Gujarat as a state is not known for its sporting exploits. He produced the likes of parthiv patel or one of the best pacesetters in indian history in jasprit bumrah but just like tamil nadu he never had an emotional connection with a team before csk loomed on the horizon in gujarat. Sanju swings like a pendulum between heroism and madness. He can boldly toss a ball to kagiso rabada or josh hazlewood for a six, and the next delivery could be a vicious shot that would have his biggest supporter tearing his hair out in frustration. But captaincy has led him to explore another aspect: the skills of a manager. It’s not easy leading a group that has real stars like ravichandran ashwin, yuzvendra chahal, jos buttler, trent boult along with young guns yashasvi jaiswal or prasidh krishna, but sanju has coped well. It’s going to be a big fight where buttler with more than 800 races will not only face lockie ferguson or yash dayal, but also defy crowd pressure: around 1,11,000 fans would be cheering for the hosts.Similarly, shubman gill wants to own the big stage and show what he can do when the canvas is as big as the ipl finals. Defend yourself in a tense situation? What will hardik’s tactics be against a wily chahal and an experimental ashwin during the breaks? Or will buttler take his chances against a rashid khan? We will receive all of these replies in the next 24 hours.