After elimination, Shami hits out at GT’s opening woes

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A washout in Ahmedabad on Monday made Gujarat Titans’ elimination from this year’s IPL formal. A tally of 11 points from 13 matches and a net run rate of -1.063 was underwhelming for a side that won the title in 2022 and finished as runners-up a year later. What went wrong this term? According to Mohammed Shami, opening woes cost the team dear.

Shami missed this year’s IPL after undergoing a surgery on his Achilles tendon ahead of the tournament. The GT and India fast bowler said his side would be disappointed with this year’s performance.

“Gujarat would be unhappy after bowing out of the IPL this season,” Shami said on his YouTube channel. He spoke about the opening woes. “If we look at the reasons for failure, the most important would be the opening partnership that didn’t work out well. Players didn’t perform up to the mark.”

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One of the reasons for GT’s failure this term has been Shubman Gill’s inconsistency. The GT skipper has scored 426 runs in 12 innings at a strike-rate of 147.40. It has been lacklustre vis-a-vis his performance in the last season, when the opener had scored 890 runs in 17 innings. The 24-year-old was handed the captaincy after Hardik Pandya left for Mumbai Indians. The franchise would assess if the added responsibility impacted Gill’s performance.

Gill’s opening partner, Wriddhiman Saha, was an abject failure, scoring 136 runs in nine innings at an average of 15.11 and a strike-rate of 118.26. The Gill-Saha duo failed to post a single 50-run opening stand.

In Shami’s absence, GT’s bowling was seriously depleted. They missed Pandya’s all-round ability. Rashid Khan, too, wasn’t at his peak after coming back from an injury. But batting, the opening to be precise, mainly let the side down.

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