The Gujarat Titans won the Indian Premier League for the first time on Sunday, thanks to all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s seven-wicket triumph against Rajasthan Royals in the final. After Sanju Samson won the toss and elected to bat, Pandya took 3-17 with his excellent medium-fast bowling to limit Rajasthan to 130-9. In front of a loud crowd of over 100,000 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the GT then scored a vital 34 from 30 balls to help Gujarat reach 133-3 in 18.1 overs. After being voted Man of the Match, the all-rounder went into great detail about his performance at the presentation, saying that he had reserved his “best for the best.”

“It had to happen.” I was putting money aside for the best case scenario. I put forth a lot of effort to get it. I wanted to demonstrate everything I had worked so hard for at the appropriate moment. In terms of bowling, it was the day when I saved the best for last,” Hardik said.

The all-rounder is renowned for his aggressive hitting style, but Pandya has shown great poise throughout the IPL 2022 season, finishing fourth in run scoring with 487 runs in 15 innings.

“I’d rather accept the championship than bat at a 160-170 strike rate on any given day.” Regardless of whose club I play for, my team is the most important to me. I’ve always been that kind of person. I’m not bothered by outside noise. “I’ll accept it if I have to sacrifice and have a bad season if my team wins,” Pandya added.

“I’ve always imagined myself to be a batter.” To me, batting comes first. It will always have a special place in my heart. “It was evident that I had to bat up the order after the bidding was over,” he said.