Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Dec 28 2022, 4:15 AM

How good was the Kane Williamson buy for Gujarat Titans?

image-lc71itu4Gujarat Titans Auction Table (Source: Twitter)

The defending champions of the IPL, Gujarat Titans grabbed up some big names in the auction for the 2023 season. But how many of those buys did they need and did they cover up the bases they needed to? Also, the inclusion of Kane Williamson in that team, how good was that buy?

Let us find an answer to all those questions in this article. 

First, let us have a look at the Gujarat Titans team ahead of the auction. 

Hardik Pandya (capt), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, R Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad.

Now let us look at the buys that they had in the IPL 2023 auction. 

Prime Buy: Kane Williamson (INR 2 Crores)

First of all, if we talk class, Kane Williamson's name will be somewhere at the top of the list. But there have been a lot of talks about his batting approach in the T20 format. Despite all that Gujarat Titans went ahead and picked up the Williamson for his base price of INR 2 Crores. 

image-lc712uqmKane Williamson (Source: Twitter)

The importance of this buy lies in the fact that they needed someone like Williamson at the top of the order. The opening slot for them looked shaky and undecided during their championship run in the last season. So, Williamson's presence gives them the flexibility to use him as an opener or at the top order. He could be the one anchoring the innings if a wicket falls early and this will also allow, skipper Hardik with added freedom to go about his batting in his own way. 

A utility player: Odean Smith (INR 50 Lakhs)

A buy which when you see the role of the player, you would say it was not needed. But if you look at his price, you said it was ok that they got Odean. 

image-lc716l8oOdean Smith (Source: Twitter)

Smith is that bits and pieces cricketer who can sometimes keep some valuable contributions in teh team's performance and at others can be a total flop. But if we talk about his applicability in the team with players like Vijay Shankar, Jayant Yadav and Rahul Tewatia already there it is hard to explain the inclusion of Odean. 

Even if they were looking for a pace bowling all-rounder as a budget buy they could have gone for someone like Jason Holder. It will be a pleasant surprise if Odean justifies his purchase by the defending champions with his performances in the upcoming season. 

Why KS Bharat? 

The most hard-to-explain purchase of the Gujarat Titans was KS Bharat. What were they looking to fulfil with Bharat in the squad?

image-lc71802fKS Bharat (Source: Twitter)

They already have keepers in Matthew Wade and Wriddhiman Saha. If we talk about top-order batters there is already Shubman Gill, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha and now Kane Williamson. There is no doubt about the potential of KS Bharat but if we think about the team composition, then this 1.20 Crores buy seems a waste of money. 

Overpriced buy: Shivam Mavi (INR 6 Crores)

Shivam Mavi as a backup pacer is a good buy. But INR 6 Crores for a bowler who is yet to prove his mettle in the tournament seems a bit too far-fetched. They have some good pacers in their ranks but still, they did need a backup Indian pacer. Even Mavi can be in the playing XI in some of the matches, but they paid a bit too much for him. 

Best Buy: Joshua Little (INR 4.40 Crores)

Gujarat Titans have been very wise about picking up Joshua Little from the auction. They have taken note of his performance in the recent T20 World Cup and have bought them. 

Little will be a good partner with Shami if given a chance and also keeping his recent performances in the T20 format in mind, he might turn out to be the X-factor in that bowling lineup. 

Back up buys 

Urvil Patel - INR 20 Lakhs

Mohit Sharma - INR 50 Lakhs

Auction Rating - 6/10

Gujarat Titans Probable Playing XI

  1. Kane Williamson ✈️
  2. Shubman Gill
  3. Sai Sudharsan
  4. Hardik Pandya
  5. David Miller ✈️
  6. Rashid Khan ✈️
  7. Rahul Tewatia
  8. R Sai Kishore
  9. Mohammad Shami
  10. Joshua Little ✈️
  11. Shivam Mavi

Also Read: What was the reason behind RCB's low-key approach in the IPL 2023 auction?