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Suresh Raina, Matthew Hayden and Shoaib Akhtar picks IPL 15 winner from GT and RR

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Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya | BCCI-IPL

The exciting IPL 2022 has finally neared its conclusion as the adventure that began on March 26 with ten teams, will culminate with just t20 teams playing in the final match- Gujarat Titans (GT) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).

And, ahead of Sunday’s major game at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, gaming luminaries pick the winner.

Gujarat Titans are one of the IPL’s two new franchises, and they’ve had a relatively easy road to the final, finishing first in the table and then winning the Qualifier 1 to secure a spot in the finals. 

Rajasthan, on the other hand, has made it to the final for the first time since the 2008 IPL.  Shane Warne, who passed away earlier this year, beat all odds to lead RR to the IPL title in its maiden season.

Rajasthan will be hoping to pay Warne the ultimate homage by winning their second title.

Also Read: IPL 2022: “Faf du Plessis has looked like a better leader than Virat Kohli”, opines Sanjay Manjrekar

The Titans, on the other hand, have the support of the majority of legends. In an interview with Sportskeeda, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Pakistan cricket icon Shoaib Akhtar encouraged Hardik Pandya’s team to win the tournament. Mr. IPL Suresh Raina has done the same.

“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,” Akhtar said on Cricket Live on Star Sports.

However, both Harbhajan and Raina had warned the Titans to be wary of Buttler threat, who has scored 824 runs this season and has smashed 89* and 106* in his last two matches.

“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,” Raina added.

Previous South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who was a member of the Rajasthan Royals squad in 2008, nevertheless, supported his former team.

“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,” the 41-year-old said.

Meanwhile, former Chennai Super Kings hitter Matthew Hayden, an Australian star, gave the Titans an ominous sign.

“Their 4,5,6 have just been out of this world. But with this bouncy wicket which is very similar to Australian wicket so that could be really ominous sign for Gujarat Titans,” told Star Sports. 

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