IPL 2022: Saved the best for the best, says GT skipper Hardik Pandya on his performance in the final

Hardik Pandya wanted to ‘show at the right time’ what he has been working hard on. And on Sunday, he stamped his class once again with an all-round performance as he led Gujarat Titans to its first-ever Indian Premier League title, with a seven-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals.

“I wanted to show at the right time what I’ve worked hard for. Today was the day from the bowling point of view, I saved the best for the best,” Hardik, who bagged three wickets and contributed with the willow as well, said.

He was happy with the way he bowled, especially his second delivery of the first spell when he dismissed Royals captain Sanju Samson. “I saw that if you hit the wicket hard and hit the seam something is going to happen. It was all about sticking to the right lengths, asking the batters to play the right shots. For me my team is the most important,” Hardik said.

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“I have always been that kind of individual. If I were to have a worse season and my team wins, I’ll take that. Batting comes first to me, that is always going to be close to my heart. When we got the auction done it was clear I had to bat higher to guide,” he said, making it clear why he chose to bat at No.4.

Orange cap winner Buttler’s agony

Jos Buttler, who received the Orange Cap, was disappointed to have lost the final. But he was happy with the way he performed throughout the season. “Exceeded all my expectations apart from today – the trophy we really wanted. Disappointed with that. Big congratulations to Hardik and team. They are deserving champions,” Buttler said.

“My goals are to play my role for the team and try and react on the day regarding what the game is asking me to do. In good teams, you have a lot of trust in everyone. We have huge trust in everyone in our team,” the England ace said.

His team-mate Yuzvendra Chahal received the purple cap.

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