Gujarat Titans (GT) are set to face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier league (IPL) 2023 season. The match will take place at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday (May 23).
GT have outclassed their competitors in the second straight season after making debut last year. In IPL 2022, they surprised everyone by topping the league stage before becoming the champions. They have again qualified for the playoffs by finishing at the top of the points table in IPL 2023 and showed that their last year’s performance was not a fluke.
CSK and GT have been similar in their approach, and it will be an evenly poised contest at Chepauk when these two heavyweights collide in the first playoff match of the season. The pitch at Chepauk traditionally favours spin, and again it won’t be a surprise if the pitch starts deteriorating from ball one. Spinners love to bowl at this venue.
Speaking ahead of the game, former India cricketer Virender Sehwag has called Rashid Khan GT’s trump card against CSK.
“Rashid Khan is the trump card for Gujarat. If they want wickets, they bring him. And then the way Hardik has used Rashid, it is commendable. Rashid likes to break partnerships and now he has become the most successful bowler of this season on the basis of his excellent performance,” Sehwag was quoted as saying to Star Sports.
The Afghan spin sensation is the joint-leading wicket taker in IPL 2023 with 24 scalps in 14 appearances. His teammate Mohammed Shami has also taken 24 wickets in 14 matches this season. They both are tied at the top in the Purple cap list. After the slow start, Rashid grew into the tournament and even picked a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Meanwhile, CSK have never beaten GT since the latter’s arrival in the top-tier league. The Titans have thrashed the Super Kings thrice, and the MS Dhoni-led side will now look for some settlement of the previous defeats when they take on Hardik Pandya’s GT in Qualifiers 1.