Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], May 28 (ANI): Fans are excited for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final match between defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday, making this GT’s second successive final and CSK’s 10th, the most by any time in league’s history.
Fans were seen entering the Narendra Modi stadium with excitement and enthusiasm. Most of them were wearing CSK’s yellow jersey. However, GT fans were also present in numbers and one of them while speaking to ANI said that he believes GT will win the title just like Dhoni’s CSK won the title two consecutive times.
“I support Gujarat and this time GT will win the title just like like time the same way Dhoni’s CSK won the title two consecutive times. GT will dominate with Hardik’s mightiness, Rashid’s magic.”
Hardik Pandya-led GT will be looking forward to defending the title that they had bagged in their debut season back in 2022. CSK will be hoping to clinch their fifth title and perhaps give a memorable farewell to skipper MS Dhoni, as this could be his last season with the Yellow franchise as speculated by many fans since the start of the tournament.
The defending champions have a home-ground advantage. The biggest positive for them this year has been the form of Shubman Gill at the top. Gill has been on a rampage this year, having stitched many solid opening stands with Wriddhiman Saha. Gill currently holds the Orange Cap in IPL 2023. He has scored 851 runs in 16 matches at an average of 60.78, with three centuries and four fifties. His best score is 129. His runs have come at a strike rate of 156.43.
Gill’s wicket will be a prized one for CSK and the batter will hope to hit big one last time this season and try overtaking Virat Kohli’s tally of 973 runs in a single season, which was back in 2016.
The rest of the GT batters are in fine form, though their numbers are dwarf-like in comparison to Gill. Saha (317 runs), skipper Pandya (325 runs), David Miller (259 runs), Vijay Shankar (301 runs), Sai Sudarshan (266 runs) are capable of helping the team to a competitive total even if Gill fails. GT though would want more from Miller, who has failed to fire heavily this year, as compared to his 481 runs in the 2022 season. Sudarshan can also provide stability and play an anchor.
GT has Miller, Rahul Tewatia and ever-reliable Rashid Khan to hit big sixes for the finishing touches.
GT’s bowling attack has been on fire this season. This has made them a team to beat this season. GT bowlers have dominated this IPL 2023. The top three spots in the race to the Purple Cap for most wickets are occupied by GT’s trio of Mohammed Shami (28 wickets), Rashid Khan (27 wickets) and Mohit Sharma (24 wickets).
Noor Ahmed (14 wickets) and Joshua Little (7 wickets) add a lot to an already intimidating bowling attack.
CSK has a lot of positives this year. Perhaps their biggest positive has been the opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad (564 runs) and Devon Conway (625 runs), which is a mixture of fire and ice, a mixture of no-nonsense hitting and healthy strike rotation. The duo has added 775 runs this season, including two century and four half-century stands.
The middle order of CSK is also in fine touch, with Ajinkya Rahane (299 runs) and Shivam Dube (363 runs) being present. The recent form of Rahane and Ambati Rayadu’s poor run is a concern, but they know how to perform on big stages and cannot be ruled out.
Ravindra Jadeja has been on a solid all-round run, having won four ‘Player of the Match’ awards, having scored 175 runs and taken 19 wickets in the season. Jadeja could be CSK’s most potent weapon in the final. MS Dhoni (104 runs) is also playing his role of tonking some massive ones in death overs and fans would love to have one more ‘Thala Show’.
CSK’s bowlers have been in fine form this season. Tushar Deshpande, Matheesha Pathirana (21 wickets and 17 wickets respectively) have been backed well by the management and it has bore fruits. Deepak Chahar (12 wickets) is right on the money since the last few games and looks hungrier than ever after some injury struggles. All-rounders like Moeen Ali, and Jadeja add more weight to this strong batting attack.
Gujarat Titans Squad: Wriddhiman Saha(w), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya(c), Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohit Sharma, Noor Ahmad, Mohammed Shami, Joshua Little, Srikar Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Odean Smith, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Pradeep Sangwan, Matthew Wade, Jayant Yadav, Dasun Shanaka, Abhinav Manohar, Alzarri Joseph, Darshan Nalkande, Urvil Patel, Yash Dayal
Chennai Super Kings Squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Akash Singh, Ben Stokes, Dwaine Pretorius, Sisanda Magala, Ajay Jadav Mandal, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh, RS Hangargekar, Bhagath Varma, Nishant Sindhu. (ANI)