The fact that Gujarat Titans look stronger on paper than their last season’s title-winning side even after trading away Lockie Ferguson must be a scary prospect for the other franchises. This is because the defending champions acquired the services of the stability provider Kane Williamson in the IPL 2023 auction, who they play instead of the mercurial Matthew Wade in the XI.
While retaining most of their players from their title-winning season, Gujarat got even stronger and added depth in the auction. Apart from Kane Williamson, the other good picks in the IPL 2023 made by GT were Shivam Mavi (6 cr), Joshua Little (4.40 cr), KS Bharat (1.20 cr), Oden Smith (50 lakh), and Mohit Sharma (50 lakh) – all of whom have been impressive at some high levels in their careers, be it IPL, international or domestic cricket or other leagues.
Gujarat Titans best XI for IPL 2023:
Gujarat and Hardik Pandya are spoiled for choices in their squad. If you look at the above XI, including Hardik and Tewatia, GT have 7 bowling options and have batting depth till number 8 if they play Sai Kishore over Mavi. In GT’s home games, on the batting and pace-friendly Ahmedabad, Mavi is likely to get the nod over Sai Kishore, and Mavi can also hold his end with the bat.
Mohit Sharma, Darshan Nalkande, Josh Little, Pradeep Sangwan, and Odean Smith are other bowling options in case GT wants to rotate and rest their bowlers.
Then they have another experienced all-rounder in Vijay Shankar. If they want to add more batting, GT have the likes of Abhinav Manohar and Sai Sudharsan on the bench, both of whom were very impressive with their strokeplay and temperament in their debut season last year for GT.
If Saha cannot contain his form at the top from last season, a younger and more T20-attuned KS Bharat would come in while Wade can be a batter, if Williamson isn’t in the best T20 rhythm.
A lot will, of course, depend on Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness as well – since returning to the IPL last year, Pandya hasn’t missed games due to injury and has been terrific as a leader.
Gujarat Titans squad for IPL 2023:
Hardik Pandya (C), Shubman Gill, Rahul Tewatia, Mohammed Shami, Shivam Mavi, Yash Dayal, R Sai Kishore, Abhinav Manohar, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Jayant Yadav, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat (wk), Mohit Sharma, Darshan Nalkande, Urvil Patel, Sai Sudharsan, Pradeep Sangwan, Rashid Khan, David Miller, Matthew Wade (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Kane Williamson, Josh Little, Odean Smith, Noor Ahmad