Gujarat Titans' Struggles at IPL 2023 Linked to Hardik Pandya's Batting Performance, Says Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former Indian cricketer, has pointed out a significant issue in the batting line-up of Gujarat Titans during the ongoing IPL. The defending champions have faced difficulties in finding a consistent number three batsman.


Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan believes that Gujarat Titans, the defending champions, have faced challenges in finding a consistent number three batsman in the ongoing IPL 2023 due to the underperformance of captain Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya gained admiration last season for his exceptional displays, leading the GT team to their maiden championship victory. In the previous edition, he amassed 487 runs in 15 innings, boasting an impressive average of 44.27 and a strike rate of 131.27. However, this season, Pandya has fallen short of expectations, scoring only 281 runs in 11 IPL 2023 matches, maintaining an average of 31.22 and a strike rate of 130.69.

"Gujarat Titans are facing a batting conundrum at number 3. Hardik hasn't been able to live up to the expectations with the bat this year. But if he isn't firing at number three, it will be tough for the team management to figure out whom to send on this position," Irfan Pathan said while speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live.

Kaif backs defending champions for playoffs

In contrast, Mohammed Kaif has expressed his support for the defending champions, backing them to secure victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad and become the inaugural team to secure a spot in the top four of this season. With the final week of the IPL 2023 league stage underway, no team has yet qualified for the playoffs, intensifying the Race for Playoffs.

Titans seek playoff berth against SRH

In a crucial home game, Gujarat Titans aim to secure their spot in the IPL playoffs by defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad. A win against SRH will ensure back-to-back playoff qualifications for the Hardik Pandya-led side.

"Gujarat Titans can be the first team to qualify for the playoffs with a win against SRH. Captain Hardik Pandya looked unhappy with his and his team's performance in the previous game and they'll be looking to make a comeback. Their performance away from home has been good and they'll be looking to improve the winning record at home this time," Mohammed Kaif said while speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live.