In a big news from the Indian Premier League circuit, Gujarat Ranji Trophy captain Priyank Panchal is likely to join the Gujarat Titans franchise in what is their maiden appearance in IPL. The same was claimed in a report citing a reliable source. While IPL 2022 is set to commence on March 26, the Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat franchise will kickstart their campaign against Lucknow Super Giants at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 28. Much like Gujarat, this is Lucknow’s maiden season at the IPL.
It has been a rather remarkable journey for Panchal, especially in recent times. While he was selected as the captain of the India A side against South Africa A in the rainbow country in 2021, Panchal was roped in as a replacement for Rohit Sharma in the Indian Test team after the latter was ruled out of the Test series due to an injury.
The news of his possible inclusion in the Gujarat IPL team has been carried by Sportskeeda. In an earlier chat with them, Panchal had also shared that while he did not get a chance in the Playing XI of the Test team, he gained a lot from the experience of sharing the dressing room with the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul.
Meanwhile, Titans have been adding a few big names to their net bowling and extended squad. Other than Panchal who is likely to join them as a backup player, reports have suggested that former purple cap holder in the IPL as well as a member of the India squad in the ICC 2015 World Cup Mohit Sharma is going to be a net bowler for Titans in IPL 2022. Similarly, another India pacer in Barinder Sran has also joined the team.
The good news before the start of the season for Gujarat is that captain Hardik has cleared the fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. He is likely to start bowling in the T20 tournament this year. National selectors and the Indian team management will keep a close eye on his form and fitness, with an eye on T20 World Cup later in the year.