Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith has opined that the Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) will have an edge over Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 final as they have already played a game at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.
Gujarat Titans became the first team to enter the Indian Premier League 2022 final by defeating Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 1 by 7 wickets at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League 2022 by 7 wickets to enter the final of the cash-rich league for the first time since 2008.
Now, GT and RR will lock horns on May 29 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad in the IPL 2022 summit clash.
Speaking on ‘Cricket Live’ on Star Sports, former Proteas captain Graeme Smith expressed his excitement at witnessing the battle between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals at the fully packed Narendra Modi Stadium.
He said: “It’s going to be a great contest. I can’t wait for it and I reckon the crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium will be bigger than what it was in the Qualifier 2.
“You can imagine that atmosphere and that energy (on this venue) when there will be more than a hundred thousand spectators watching the game.
“We have two quality teams playing the epic final and two quality bowling units and some high quality batting line-up on both sides. I think we are going to have an immaculate and exciting TATA IPL 2022 Final.”
Both these teams are laden with potential match-winners – Graeme Smith
Smith added that RR will have a slight advantage over GT because they have already played Qualifier 2 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. However, he added that the performance of big players will have a big impact on the match.
He asserted: “I think the advantage Rajasthan Royals have over Gujarat Titans is that they’ve played a game on this surface. They have got used to the atmosphere, the outfield, the pitch, and the extra bounce.
“But I think it’s a one-off game and (in matches like these) if someone from the big players stands to the occasion and puts up a massive performance, it gives a major boost to the side. Both these teams are laden with potential match-winners which makes the TATA IPL Final most exciting.”
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina opined that the Gujarat Titans will have an edge over Rajasthan Royals because they have got good rest of four-five days. However, he admitted that the Sanju Samson and Co. can not be taken lightly. He stated:
“I think Gujarat Titans will have a slight edge over Rajasthan Royals in the finals because they’ve had a good rest of four-five days and also due to the tempo they’ve been in this season.
“I believe RR cannot be taken lightly because they are looking in sublime form and if Jos Buttler fires for one last time in this season, then it will be a huge bonus for the team. So it will be an epic clash. Also, the wicket has been brilliant here in Ahmedabad and we’ve seen a lot of strokes from the batters.”
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