Brad Hogg, the former Australian spin bowler believes that the Rajasthan Royals (RR) top-order comprising of the likes of Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Devdutt Padikkal will have to take on the Gujarat Titans’ (GT) opening bowlers to lay the foundation for a win. The two franchises of IPL 2022 will kickstart the knockout phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
In the playoffs, the bowling combination of Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, and Alzarri Joseph will be a strong asset for the franchise. Mohammed Shami has taken 18 wickets with an average of 21.61 and 7.62 economy in 389 runs conceded, with 11 wickets coming in the powerplay. With an average of 21.88 and a 9.38 economy rate in six innings, Yash Dayal has conceded 197 runs and grabbed 9 wickets for the franchise.
Lockie Ferguson has taken twelve wickets in eleven games with an average of 32.00 and an 8.93 economy rate thus far in the season. Alzarri Joseph has conceded 271 runs and taken seven wickets for the Gujarat Titans in eight innings, with an average of 33.85 and an economy rate of 8.46.
Brad Hogg Praises Hardik Pandya For Leading Gujarat Titans Well And Opines That Lockie Ferguson And Rashid Khan May Be Used In The Powerplay
Veteran Indian pacer Mohammad Shami has been instrumental for the Gujarat-based franchise with the new ball. He has successfully extracted something off the wicket with consistent pace, scalping 18 wickets in the tournament. He has been well-aided by the likes of Lockie Ferguson and Yash Dayal in the pace bowling unit.
“Shami against Buttler, two slips in place with the ball swinging away, get him out early and you are on your way to victory. Ashwin will come in next to protect Samson from the extra pace. Get him out as well and suddenly they will be two down.”
“Hetmyer is one of the dominant players in the death overs. I think Rashid Khan with his variations will be perfect. Extra bounce and turn on a new wicket will help Rashid and he will have his man,” Brad Hogg said on his YouTube channel.
Opining that RR batters will have to force Hardik Pandya to turn towards Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan in the powerplay phase itself, Brad Hogg said on his YouTube channel:
“To beat GT, you will have to take on their opening bowlers. Try to force Pandya to use Rashid Khan and Lockie Ferguson in the powerplay. Otherwise, those two will control the middle overs and that is where GT have really dominated the game.”
Rashid Khan, the only spinner in Gujarat’s line-up has picked up 18 scalps in 14 games averaging 21.55 at an economy rate of 6.94. He is the leading wicket-taker for Gujarat besides Mohammed Shami. His best is 24/4 this season so far.
The franchise opted to rest Lockie Ferguson for a couple of games towards the end of the league stage. The upcoming Qualifier 1 contest at Eden Gardens could see the New Zealand pace bowler return, where he represented his former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a handful of matches in IPL 2019. GT skipper Hardik Pandya is also an option with the ball despite only bowling 24 overs in 13 matches.
Praising the all-rounder for his leadership in the tournament so far, Brad Hogg said: “GT are led well by Pandya. Ever since knowing that they will make it to the playoffs, he has put them in more difficult situations, made it tougher for them, preparing them for that tough competition at the back end. For me, this is what makes them favorites.”
Having shown their prowess while chasing on a number of occasions in the initial stages of the tournament, Hardik Pandya took GT out of their comfort zone by deliberately batting first to get accustomed.
Brad Hogg Isn’t Surprised As The Best Performing Teams In The Powerplay Phase- Gujarat And Rajasthan Progressed To Qualifiers
RR and GT found themselves at the top end of the points table for the majority of the league stage of the tournament. The presence of stalwarts like Jos Buttler, Trent Boult, Mohammad Shami, and Shubman Gill allowed the top two sides to get a dominant start with both bat and ball.
Terming their dominance in the powerplay as the biggest reason behind their success, Brad Hogg said: “No wonder GT and RR are playing the Qualifier 1. They were the best performing teams in the powerplay phase of every game with both bat and ball. You win that phase, you win 80 percent of your games generally.”
Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson will play their first playoff matches as captains later tonight. The winner of Qualifier 1 will advance to the final of IPL 2022.