Gujarat Titans registered a comfortable 62-run victory over Mumbai Indians in a high-scoring Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 on Friday. Asked to bat first, the defending champions posted a whopping total of 233/3 in 20 overs after Shubman Gill smashed 129 runs off just 60 balls. Later, MI were bundled out for 171 as Mohit Sharma took a five-wicket haul. The Hardik Pandya-led side have entered the final of the tournament and will now be going up against Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. It will be an interesting battle as both the teams had finished in the top two of the points table during the league stage.
The MS Dhoni-led side had defeated Gujarat in the Qualifier 1 by 15 runs and it was also their first victory over the Hardik Pandya-led team in four meetings. However, the previous match was played at Chepauk, which is CSK’s fortress and things can go the other way on Sunday as both the teams will be facing each other in Ahmedabad, GT’s home ground.
Dhoni’s leadership:When talking about the strengths, it is very important to mention the leader and captaincy of MS Dhoni, which plays an important role in the team’s success. The brain of the ‘captain cool’ will be a crucial aspect as CSK will be in search of their sixth title.
Strong opening pair:Chennai Super Kings’ biggest strength will be their opening pair, in the form of Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The duo have shown their mettle in the entire season and have stitched many crucial partnerships for their side. In total. Conway has smashed six half-centuries while Gaikwad has got four fifties in the ongoing season.
Rahane and Dube’s blistering form: Another strong factor about CSK’s batting is their top-order. With veteran Ajinkya Rahane and youngster Shivam Dube, the team looks balanced as the duo is known for their power-hitting performances.
Jadeja’s all-round show: Ravindra Jadeja’s form has been a blessing for CSK this season. Apart from shining with the ball, the all-rounder has also put up a great show with the bat. So far, he has scalped 19 wickets and scored 175 runs at a strike rate of 137.80.
Pace attack: Chennai also consist of a strong pace attack, in the form of Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande. The duo is known for troubling the opposition batters in the powerplay and getting wickets. However, Deshpande has turned out to be expensive on some occasions. So far, Chahar has taken 12 wickets in nine matches while Deshpande has scalped 21 wickets. Apart from them, Sri Lanka’s young slinger Matheesha Pathirana has been very impressive with 17 scalps in 11 matches.
Inconsistent middle-order: Despite a good outing from Jadeja and Dhoni (who is batting at a terrific strike rate), CSK still need their middle-order batters like Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali to fire. They played some cameos in a few matches but failed to leave a mark in the season.
Expensive bowlers: Though Desphande had a good season in terms of taking wickets, he also leaked too many runs. He has conceded 317 runs in 15 matches at an average of 24.19. He will be definitely looking to bowl economically in the summit clash.
Extras: At the start of the season, CSK faced a lot of criticism as their bowlers gave out too many runs in the form of no-balls and wides. This will be one thing that the four-time champions will look to avoid while facing GT on Sunday.
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