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IPL 2022: Hardik Pandya returns as Gujarat win toss, elect to bat first against KKR

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Navi Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) Hardik Pandya has returned as captain of Gujarat Titans and after winning the toss, he elected to bat first against Kolkata Knight Riders in match 35 of IPL 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday. It is the first time that a skipper has elected to bat first in IPL 2022 after 34 matches.

After winning the toss, Pandya said with his return to the playing eleven that Vijay Shankar goes out. “It’s absolutely fine (groin). The last game was a precautionary absence as we had five-days break after that, so I wanted to get a week’s break. We have to preserve our energy and it is better to bat when it’s hot and see how the surface is.”

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Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer said Tim Southee, Sam Billings and Rinku Singh come into the playing eleven in place of Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins and Sheldon Jackson. Iyer cited niggles as the reasons behind Kolkata making three changes in a crucial match against Gujarat.

“Last game we played here, it was scorching hot fielding first and the wicket also looks a bit dry. The spirits are obviously high, we haven’t played really bad games, need to keep the energy and vibe high. Just a matter of one over or something brilliant coming from all individuals.”

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Playing XIs

Gujarat Titans: Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya (captain), Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Lockie Ferguson, Yash Dayal and Mohammed Shami.

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Kolkata Knight Riders: Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Nitish Rana, Sam Billings (wicketkeeper), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Tim Southee, Shivam Mavi, Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy.

–IANS

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