"Smash The Hell Out Of Gujarat...": Shoaib Akhtar On Why Rajasthan Royals Must Win Final For This Legend's Sake
Rajasthan Royals face Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 final on Sunday evening
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 final has pitted two of the most consistent teams in this edition against each other. Debutants Gujarat Titans have made it to the title clash in their maiden season while the inaugural 2008 IPL champions Rajasthan Royals are in their first final in 14 years. The Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans had finished the league stage with the most number of wins - 10. The Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals finished second with nine wins. The occasion is all the more special for RR management, as this year in March their first captain Shane Warne - who led the team to a triumph in 2008 - died due to a suspected heart attack.
"There was a dull moment in IPL. After that there was fierce competition. One team came back into the final after 14 years. Must remember Shane Warne. Bhajji's favourite, my favourite, our dear friend. Andrew Symonds, we dearly miss him. In memory of Shane Warne, Rajasthan go out there and smash the hell out of Gujarat for Shane Warne," Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan cricket team pacer, told in an interview to Sportskeeda Cricket.
Harbhajan Singh, who was present at the discussion, added how Yuzvendra Chahal was crucial to RR's chances. So far, the leg-spinner has taken 26 wickets in 16 matches for the Royals.
"He is Jos Buttler in the bowling department. He has won matches on his own. he is a single bowler in the IPL, who is bowling like a spinner. He is bowling slow, enticing the batters to go after him but coming out of the crease. His googly has also been effective. He is playing with the batsman's mind. he has been a champion in chess too but in this game he has outdone a game of chess too," Singh said.
"He has done well against left-handers too. Be it any ground, small or large, it does not really matter to him. He has that confidence. he is bowling like a spinner. There are many other spinners in this IPL, but they just come running and bowl fast. They don't spin the ball. Spinners are supposed to spin the ball that's where you will get used."