The defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, Gujarat Titans have had a fairly decent start to their 2023 campaign. Hardik Pandya’s men have emerged victorious in three of the five matches they have featured in thus far, and extending last season’s theme, they have found match-winners from unlikely sources.
Whilst the youngsters in Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan have done their job with impeccable accuracy, Gujarat also have had important contributions from a couple of veterans who, perhaps, were not expected to feature heavily this season – Vijay Shankar and Mohit Sharma.
Vijay Shankar has scored 119 runs in three matches, including a half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders, with his average being 59.50. Mohit Sharma, who is playing in IPL after three years, has conceded only 25 runs in six overs, whilst also picking up a couple of wickets.
Responding to a question from The Quint during a media interaction, the Titans’ batting coach and mentor, Gary Kirsten stated “Time might not be on their side, but experience is. That certainly helps in the IPL.”
After being bought for Rs 1.40 crore, Shankar had an underwhelming 2022 season, scoring only 19 runs in four matches, without any wickets to better his overall numbers. Elaborating on his comeback, Kirsten praised the all-rounder’s work ethic.
Vijay battled through the last season. He wanted to come back and be a player to be reckoned with. He got into a great physical condition, and his training and work ethic at the nets have been second to none.Gary Kirsten, batting coach and mentor of Gujarat Titans
Mohit Sharma Is an Incredible Professional: Gary Kirsten
“To me, Mohit Sharma is an inspiration in many ways. He spent all of the last season of IPL as a net bowler for the Gujarat Titans. For someone of his age, to do this is quite remarkable. He is an incredible professional, and puts a lot of time into his game, so it was great to have him in the last two games. He has done really well,” Kirsten said about the 34-year-old seamer.
Gujarat are currently occupying the fourth place in the standings, with six points in their account. In their next fixture, they will be taking on the high-flying Lucknow Super Giants, at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Saturday, 22 April.