It has been a brilliant season for Shubman Gill as the Gujarat Titans opener carried his team into the IPL 2023 finals after beating Mumbai Indians by 62 runs, in the second Indian Premier League qualifier in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Gill’s score of 129 off 60 balls helped GT post a total of 233/3, and the bowlers led by Rashid Khan and Mohit Sharma completed the job to knock out MI and set up a final with Chennai Super Kings.

For GT captain Hardik Pandya, he is taking each game on its own and enjoying the knock-out stages.

“We have to play good cricket – I spoke the same thing today in the huddle also. Irrespective of the result, if we put our 100% and try our level best, the knockouts are fun – it can go here or there,” he said during the post-match presentation.

This is Gill’s third IPL century this season and he looked in sublime form. Now the leading run-scorer in the IPL with 851 runs, he credits his form in international cricket prior for his purple patch in the tournament.

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“I feel it’s been a combination of a lot of things – last year from the West Indies tour, that’s when I shifted a gear. I got injured in 2021 leading up to the IPL and I was out for a couple of months. I’d always worked on my game but that’s when I realised what the areas were that I needed to work on. I made some technical changes in my batting leading up to this tournament around December when I was called up for the New Zealand series just after the T20 World Cup,” Gill said about his batting.

Both Pandya and GT all-rounder Vijay Shankar believe that Gill’s innings on Friday was one of the best he has ever played. In fact, Pandya predicts that he will only get better from here on.

“The clarity that he has and the confidence which he carries is amazing. The innings that I saw today was one of the finest I’ve seen in a T20 game. At no point of time did he look rushed or that he wasn’t in control. It looked like someone was just throwing down the balls and he was just hitting,” said Pandya on Gill’s batting outlook compared to the previous IPL edition.

Shankar added in the post-match press conference that, “(Gill) has an amazing work ethic, that is why he is one of the best cricketers right now. The way he’s batting right now is just unbelievable, the way he is striking the ball is beautiful to watch. He’s just batting properly and he’s hitting those sixes like he’s batting in Test cricket. The way he practises is something really important - he goes out there and he practises with purpose. Every time he turns up for the game, it’s lovely to see him switch on from ball one.”

Pandya also added that he is a lucky captain because his job in the team is simple – he has to ensure the players are in the right frame of mind and he does that by leading with energy himself.

The Titans will be hoping to win their second IPL title in as many seasons when they take on Chennai Super Kings in the final on Sunday. CSK meanwhile will be aiming for a fifth crown.