After two months of blockbuster action, the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) boils down to that one final moment – the final – the elusive trophy – and the glory that follows. 10 teams had begun the journey back on March 26 and the IPL winner for the 15th edition will now be decided between two teams – Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals. And before the big game at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, legends of the game predict the winner.  (Follow IPL 2022 full coverage)

Gujarat Titans are one of the two new teams of the IPL and they managed to script a rather comfortable journey to the final, finishing top of the table and then winning the Qualifier 1 tie to book their place in the summit clash which will be played in front of their home crowd. 

Rajasthan, on the other hand, have reached their first final in 14 seasons. The last time Rajasthan had reached the final was in 2008 when Shane Warne, who passed away earlier this year, had defied conventional wisdom to guide to team to IPL title glory in the inaugural season. Hence, Rajasthan would be hoping to give Warne the perfect tribute with their second title win. 

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However, most of the legends have backed the Titans. Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Pakistan cricket legend Shoaib Akhtar, in conversation with Sportskeeda, have backed the Hardik- Pandya-led side to win the trophy. And so have Mr. IPL Suresh Raina.

“I think Gujarat Titans will have a slight edge over Rajasthan Royals in the finals because they’ve had a good rest of four-five days and also due to the tempo they’ve been in this season,” he said on Cricket Live on Star Sports. However, both Harbhajan and Raina had warned the Titans to be wary of Buttler threat, who has scored 824 runs this season and has smashed 89* and 106* in his last two matches.

“I believe RR cannot be taken lightly because they are looking in sublime form and if Jos Buttler fires for one last time in this season, then it will be a huge bonus for the team. So, it will be an epic clash. Also, the wicket has been brilliant here in Ahmedabad and we’ve seen a lot of strokes from the batters,” Raina added.

However, former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, who part of the Rajasthan Royals squad in 2008, sided with his former team.

“I think the advantage Rajasthan Royals have over Gujarat Titans is that they’ve played a game on this surface. They have got used to the atmosphere, the outfield, the pitch, and the extra bounce. “But I think it’s a one-off game and (in matches like these) if someone from the big players stands to the occasion and puts up a massive performance, it gives a major boost to the side. Both these teams are laden with potential match-winners which makes the TATA IPL final most exciting,” the 41-year-old said.

Meanwhile, Aussie legend and former Chennai Super Kings batter Matthew Hayden showed an ominous sign for the Titans. 

“Their 4,5,6 have just been out of this world. But with this bouncy wicket which is very similar to Australian wicket so that could be really ominous sign for Gujarat Titans,” told Star Sports. 

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