New Delhi: IPL 2023 began with the clash between defending champions Gujarat Titans and 4-time winner Chennai Super Kings, and the tournament is set to end with the same encounter. While Hardik Pandya’s GT won the first game of the season, CSK outplayed them in Qualifier 1 and the competition is at its top as the stakes are at its highest.
A few decisions did not go in the favour of the Titans as they faced CSK in Qualifier 1, but Shubman Gill’s third ton this season and Mohit Sharma’s five-wicket haul ensured that they beat MI in the race to the finals. MS Dhoni and co will look out to execute the plans like in their last game, delivering an all-round performance.
Gaikwad-Conway the key in Ahmedabad
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway have been one of the most prolific opening pairs this season and they managed an 87-run stand against GT in the last game. Conway has scored 625 while Gaikwad has 564 runs in 14 innings this season and will be the key to CSK’s success on a good batting pitch. Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, and skipper MS Dhoni have been dealing in sixes towards the end while the Super Kings will need Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu to also step up to the occasion.
CSK has developed a holistic bowling attack with Tushar Deshpande being their leading wicket-taker. The Sri Lankan duo of Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana have done quite a heavy lifting for the team with the ball while Jadeja has continued his form. Deepak Chahar with his ability to swing will be handy with the new ball while Deshpande and Pathirana will handle the death overs. While CKS has managed to pick wickets, the economy rate has not been one of their strengths and GT has the power-hitters to exploit it.
Gill, bowlers make a deadly combo
Shubman Gill has been the star of the season with 851 runs in 16 innings, including three centuries. While Wriddhiman Saha has slowed down towards the end of the season, Gill has kept his roaring form and is taking on the bowlers. On a good bowling surface, CSK was able to limit him for 42(38) and they will have to do a similar job if they want to win the finals. Vijay Shankar is another name likely to stand up to the occasion while GT will need Rashid Khan to keep hitting the boundries to finish the affairs for them.
GT has undoubtebly the best bowling line-up of the season with Mohammed Shami as the top wicket-taker (28), followed by Rashid Khan (27) and Mohit Sharma (24). With home advantage, GT’s bowlers can wreck havoc and the Titans will require them to pick quick wickets for one last time this season.
The finals is going to a clash to watch out for as the top two teams, who looked unbeateble throughout, are facing each other at the Narendra Modi Stadium. It will be clash GT’s bowlers and CSK’s opening pair while both teams would not like to just depend on their openers in the most crucial game of the tournament. The game will begin at 7:30 pm.