(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sun 28 May 2023, 6:06 PM
Rain has delayed the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final match between defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) today, Sunday, May 28, as heavy showers pour down at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The championship clash will be GT's second successive final and CSK's 10th, the most by any time in league's history. The match may start as late as 10.10pm (IST) without any reduction in overs. The cutoff time will be 12.26am, with a minimum of 5 overs each. 'Hardik's mightiness, Rashid's magic'
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, with one of them saying 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 [when] 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, however, 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. Meet the players
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.
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