Royals have never finished in the top-two since the playoffs came into existence in 2011. Titans, meanwhile, were dismissed after the auction, and have exceeded expectations and pre-tournament billing to get here.
Both sides have punted on their six-batters and five-bowler strategy to the hilt. Their unshakable faith in this core philosophy that has brought them much success. That said, not everything is similar. Their approaches have varied. Titans have hit 69 sixes, the least for a team this season. Royals have hit 116, the most.
Titans were written off by many even before a ball was bowled. Their auction strategy was scrutinised. They wondered if Hardik Pandya, fighting his own battles with form and injury, can inspire the new entrants. One of their openers pulled out of the tournament and their middle order had two rookie-batters and an overseas batter who had racked up poor numbers season after season. Yet, nearly seven weeks later, they became the first team to enter the playoffs.
In the news
Gujarat Titans: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Wriddhiman Saha, 3 Matthew Wade (wk), 4 Hardik Pandya (capt), 5 David Miller, 6 Rahul Tewatia, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 R Sai Kishore, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Yash Dayal
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 R Ashwin, 8 Trent Boult, 9 Obed McCoy, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Kuldip Sen
Stats that matter
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo