Gujarat Titans (GT) impressed everyone with their strategy at IPL 2023 auction. The defending champions retained a majority of their players from the squad that lifted the trophy last season.
GT raised a few eyebrows with their activity in the trade window before the auction as they let go of their young wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz and ace fast bowler Lockie Ferguson. To fill the vacant spots in their squad, the Ahmedabad-based franchise bought the likes of KS Bharat, Joshua Little, Kane Williamson and Odean Smith at the IPL 2023 Auction.
Overall, GT have a strong squad on paper. In this listicle now, we will form their strongest possible playing XI.
Openers - Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha (WK)
Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha should continue as openers for the Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023. The two Indian batters starred in GT's IPL 2022 championship win with their top-quality performances at the top of the order.
Gill was the second-highest run-scorer for the Titans with 483 runs in 16 matches. Saha aggregated 317 runs in 11 matches at an average of 31.70. The veteran player should also be GT's first-choice wicketkeeper-batter.
Middle Order - Kane Williamson, Abhinav Manohar and David Miller
The biggest area of concern for GT last season was their No.3 position. They tried Vijay Shankar, Sai Sudharsan, and Matthew Wade in that role, but none of them could cement their spot. Gujarat signed Kane Williamson for ₹2 crore at the IPL 2023 auction, and it seems like he will bat first down.
Abhinav Manohar and David Miller should be the other two middle-order batters of the team. Manohar scored 108 runs in eight IPL 2022 matches at a strike rate of 144, while Miller aggregated 481 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 142.72.
All Rounders - Hardik Pandya (C), Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan
Captain Hardik Pandya is likely to bat in the No.4 position for the Gujarat Titans. He was their top run-getter in IPL 2022 with 487 runs in 15 matches. The Gujarat skipper also scalped eight wickets for his team.
Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan will be the two spin-bowling all-rounders in the playing XI. Tewatia did not bowl much last season, but he won multiple matches for the team with his remarkable finishing skills in the batting department.
Rashid Khan was the second-highest wicket-taker for the team with 19 wickets in 16 matches. He will continue leading the spin attack of GT.
Bowlers - Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph and Shivam Mavi
Lockie Ferguson is no longer a part of Gujarat Titans, meaning Alzarri Joseph will be the team's first-choice overseas fast bowler. GT also spent ₹6 crore to sign Shivam Mavi at the IPL 2023 auction, hinting that they would prefer having him in their playing XI.
Mohammed Shami will be the spearhead of the pace attack. He was GT's best bowler last season with 20 wickets in 16 games. GT could swap Shivam Mavi with R Sai Kishore when GT play on pitches that assist spin bowlers.
Predicted Playing XI of Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023
Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Shivam Mavi, and Alzarri Joseph.
Edited by Ankush Das