Shubman Gill scored a mesmerising 129 from 60 balls as Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians to reach the Indian Premier League final.
After being dropped on 30, the Gujarat opener took the Mumbai attack apart with seven fours and 10 sixes.
The century was his third in four innings as the Titans posted 233-3, before Mumbai was bowled out for 171.
Ahead of the much-anticipated final, here are the five reasons why the Titans have once again been so successful this year.
Aesthetic power up top
Gill’s evolution as a power-hitter has been one of the standout stories of this IPL. The right-hander has married the aesthetics of textbook stroke-play with brawny batting to emerge as the highest run-getter this season. Gill has hit 33 sixes in IPL 2023, and his 851 runs so far are the third-highest season aggregate for a batter in the IPL. Gill’s 60-ball 129 against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 put Gujarat Titans in its second consecutive IPL final; it was also the highest by a batter in the IPL playoffs.
Vijay Shankar has made telling contributions with the bat this year, transforming from a player of promise to a key match-winner. Shankar’s acceptance of his role as a floater between No. 3 and 6 has set him free. He has 301 runs in 13 matches, but it’s his strike rate of 160-plus that has helped him shut out the games with impunity.
Acing the chase
Titans is the best chasing side in IPL 2023, having won six of their nine chases, thanks to their mercurial finishing duo – Rahul Tewatia and David Miller. The two have combined innovative shotmaking with ice cool demeanour to take their team home in pressure situations.
The fact that the top three wicket-takers in this IPL—Mohammed Shami (28), Rashid Khan (27) and Mohit Sharma (24)—all belong to Gujarat Titans is a testament to the incisive nature of its attack. Shami’s ability to move the new ball has been complemented by Mohit’s wily use of the slower balls in the middle overs, and Rashid’s lengths, pace, and variations have not allowed opposition batters to step out and sweep. There have been useful contributions along the way from Noor Ahmad as well.
Leading from the front
Although Hardik Pandya hasn’t been as influential with bat and ball this year as he was last season, he has still guided the Titans to their second successive IPL final. Hardik has given the players confidence and role clarity – two key tenets of a championship winning side.