IPL 2023: We rightfully deserve playoff spot, says Hardik Pandya | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: After Gujarat Titans became the first team to enter the playoffs this season with a convincing 34-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ahmedabad on Monday, the skipper Hardik Pandya he said his side “rightly deserve” a place in the Indian Premier League playoffs.
Despite a late comeback by SRH’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/30), GT scored 188/9 as Shubman Gill he struck 101 off just 58 balls – his maiden IPL century. GT then limited SRH to 154/9.
“Very proud of the lads, two out of two (making the play-offs twice in a row). The lads have put their hands up and in tough situations and we rightfully deserve the playoff place,” Hardik said at the post-game presentation.
“There will be expectations and for me it was important to focus within the group. We ticked many good boxes, made many mistakes but we were always present in the game and tried to stay consistent,” he added.
After Gill and Sai Sudharsan (47 off 36 balls) laid the foundations for a strong total with their partnership of 147 runs for the second wicket – which was however squandered by the other batsmen – the likes of Mohammed Shami (4/21) and Mohit Sharma (4/28) shined with the ball to disrupt SRH’s campaign.

Impressed by their commitment, Hardik called himself a bowler’s captain.
“The bowlers are very close to my heart. Sometimes batsmen take a lot of credit, to me I will always be a bowler’s captain and make sure they get the credit they deserve,” said Hardik.
Recalling his IPL debut against SRH, man of the match Gill said it was full circle for him.
“My IPL debut was against SRH, now I have my IPL hundred against them. Quite happy. It’s come full circle. I hope to get more hundreds this season,” said Gill.

“I’m not the type of person to dwell too much on my last innings. The focus is on what’s needed at the moment. The most satisfying moment was hitting Abhishek (Sharma) for a six because he’s my friend of childhood”.
Out of the count for a place in the play-offs, skippered SRH Aiden Markram he said his team will play for pride in the remaining two games.


“A lot of pride for us to play for. We will try to give some opportunities if we are allowed. It will be nice to finish the tournament in good spirits but sadly we weren’t good enough in this year’s tournament,” said Markram.
“When a team has a disadvantage in the backend, it can go either way. It was important to break the partnership and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar) did it for us. It was great for us and Nattu (T Natarajan) too.”
(with PTI inputs)


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