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Reasons behind Gujarat Titans' bumpy ride in IPL 2024

Top Reasons behind Gujarat Titans' failure in IPL 2024. Shubman Gill's Gujarat Titans remains at the bottom of the points table after 11 games.


IPL 2024: Shubman Gill has scored 322 runs from 11 games in IPL 2024 so far | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Shubman Gill's GT is at the bottom of the table (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

Gujarat Titans (GT) had a fairytale beginning when they joined the IPL bandwagon. Led by Hardik Pandya, they won their maiden title in their very first appearance in 2022. In the second season in 2023, they missed out on a second straight title by a whisker. However, in their third season in 2024, Gujarat, who have a new captain in Shubman Gill, have been brought down to earth as they are facing an early exit from the race to play-offs. 


For the record, Gujarat are placed last in the points table of IPL 2024, with 8 points, having won 4 matches out of 11. Three other teams are at eight points, but Gujarat have the worst net run rate. So, what went wrong for Gujarat in IPL 2024?


Opening woes

Current skipper-cum-opener Gill had a breakthrough season last time when he emerged as the highest run-getter in the tournament. He scored 890 runs at an average of 59.33 with 3 tons and 4 fifties. But this season, Gill, with an added responsibility of leading the team, has been inconsistent with the bat so far. He has scored 322 runs at an average of 32.20 with 2 fifties in 11 games. 


Moreover, Gill’s opening partner Wriddhiman Saha has been going through a horrific season with the bat. Saha has managed just 136 runs at an average of 15.11 and a strike rate of 118.26 in 9 games so far. He and Gill failed to post a single fifty-run stand for the opening wicket. The two times Gujarat opened with Gill and Sai Sudharsan, when Saha was injured, saw two fifty-run stands being posted. However, Gujarat reunited Gill with Saha and the same opening woes followed. The lack of runs from the openers has hurt Gujarat the most this season as it puts added pressure on the middle-order to build the innings.



IPL 2024, GT vs RCB_ Sai Sudharsan, Shahrukh Khan scored fifties for Gujarat Titans _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Sudharsan is sole silver lining in GT's batting unit (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Middle-order experimentation

As openers struggled, Gujarat experimented a lot to boost their middle-order and cushion the lack of runs from the openers. Hence, they tried many players in the middle-order. The constant chopping and changing made the middle-order unstable as lack of role clarity put added pressure on the batters. 


Abhinav Manohar was discarded after two failures. Experienced batter Kane Williamson got just two games before he was benched. Vijay Shankar didn’t have a fixed spot, and kept moving up and down the order before he was benched as well. Shankar managed just 83 runs at an average of 16.60 in 7 games. 


David Miller, who was supposed to hold the middle-order together, has been inconsistent, managing 194 runs at an average of 32.33 with 1 fifty in 8 games. Rahul Tewatia, who played purely as a finisher, did win a couple of games with his late cameos. But he played at a position too low to make regular impacts. M Shahrukh Khan started poorly, batting lower down the order. But when he was promoted to the top four, he played a couple of impactful innings. The only exception was Sai Sudharsan who usually bats in the top three. He emerged as the highest run-getter for Gujarat, with 424 runs and 2 fifties in 11 games so far. 


Overall, Gujarat could not come up with a batting combination that could win games for them consistently. Their lack of role clarity to batters hampered their progress in the tournament. 



IPL 2023, LSG vs GT, Top Performances_ Mohit Sharma's 2-17 helped GT beat LSG _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Mohit Sharma has been expensive this season (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Lack of bowling combinations and match-winners

Just like their batting combination or the lack of it, Gujarat also struggled to get stability in their bowling department. They kept changing their bowling attack. Except for Mohit Sharma and Rashid Khan, none of the other bowlers played regularly. 


Gujarat started with Umesh Yadav (7 wickets in 6 games) and Spencer Johnson (4 wickets in 5 games), but they were benched after a few games. Gujarat then brought in Sandeep Warrier (5 wickets in 4 games), Azmatullah Omarzai (4 wickets in 7 games) and later Josh Little. These changes in the pace attack led to instability as the pacers didn’t get a long rope to find any rhythm. 


Hence, a lot of pressure rested on Mohit and Rashid to take wickets. Sai Kishore, who had a match-winning performance of 4/33 against Punjab, was not used judiciously as well. He played just five matches. Noor Ahmad took 8 wickets in 9 games, bowling well in patches. 


Mohit started well, but the pressure of doing the job all alone showed as he began leaking runs. He has taken 10 wickets in 11 games so far at an economy rate of 11.25. Rashid has taken 8 wickets in 11 games with the opposition looking to play him out and target other bowlers. 


Overall, Gujarat lacked match-winning bowlers in their line-up apart from Rashid and Mohit who bore a lot of responsibility to perform every single time. Besides, the instability in the bowling line-up also showed in their performance.



Shubman Gill’s captaincy

Shubman Gill is learning on the job, and has not done too badly as a first-time skipper. He has shown signs of brilliance, with his tactical acumen. He marshalled his troops brilliantly to snatch a six-run win against Mumbai Indians (MI) from the jaws of defeat. He also led from the front in a few innings. He played a brilliant 44-ball 72 against Rajasthan Royals (RR) before Rashid stole a win on the last ball. He also read the conditions well at Mullanpur against Punjab Kings (PBKS), playing three spinners to bowl out the opponents for 142 and then win the match by 3 wickets.


Overall, Gill has the potential to develop into a good skipper and lead from the front. The management needs to sort out a few woes like the opening combination, instability in both batting and bowling, and the lack of role clarity to players if they are to emerge as a better team.


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