Really proud of the boys, says Hardik Pandya after Gujarat Titans storm into IPL playoffs

Written by Abhishek Patil

Hardik Pandya said he was proud of his team after Gujarat Titans became the first team to reach the IPL 2022 playoffs. GT crushed Lucknow Super Giants by 62 runs in Pune on Tuesday to secure a playoffs berth ahead of any other team this season.

Gujarat Titans have been sensational in their first edition of the IPL. After losing their last two matches, the Titans bounced back strongly to first post 144 for 4 in their 20 overs on a tricky pitch and then bundling LSG out for 82.

Hardik Pandya, the GT captain, said the team always believed in itself but to have secured a playoffs berth with two matches still to go in the group stage was a remarkable achievement.

“Really proud of the boys. When we started this journey together, we obviously believed in ourselves, but before the 14th game to have qualified, it’s a great effort and really proud of us,” Hardik told Star Sports in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Hardik Pandya said GT had learnt from their previous defeats and said he had urged his men to be ruthless even when LSG were eight wickets down and seemed headed for certain defeat.

“Last game, I spoke to the boys before going, I think we that that game was already over before it was over.

“That was a learning which we took. I think all the games that we’ve won, we were always under pressure. The last game was the only game that we were ahead of the game and we knew the kind of batters we have and we’ll finish it off.

“But it did not happen. That was the talk of the group. Even in this game, when they were eight down, I said, ‘Let’s be ruthless. This game is beautiful. If it’s not over, it’s not over. So let’s make sure that we finish it. If they’re down, let’s keep them down, get this done and relax post-game,” Hardik said.

Gujarat Titans are now 18 points from 12 matches and are strong contenders to finish in the top-two on the points table. Different players have stepped up in different times for the Titans.

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Abhishek Patil