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Defending champions vs. 5-times winner Who will reach IPL finals

The Gujarat Titans and the Mumbai Indians are ready to compete in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023.

The cricket match will decide which team gets to meet CSK in the finals. Conversely, the loser’s journey in IPL 2023 will end. Given the players participating in the game, it is expected to invite a huge audience. 

Moreover, it is just more than the IPL title that is on the line. Hardik Pandya, the ex-MI player, has had some issues with the MI management that has established a rivalry between the teams. 

When the defending champions enter the cricket match against the 5-time IPL winners, fans are expecting to see firecrackers flying everywhere.

GT: Journey and Performance

Despite this being GT’s second IPL appearance, the team has established a household persona around it. 

The Hardik-led squad went on to win its debut IPL and is currently eyeing another trophy. The Gujarat Titans dominated the league stage, winning 10 of their 14 games.

While GT is one of the few balanced teams in the competition, several players stood out from the rest in every term. Shubhman Gill, Rashid Khan, and Mohammed Shami have been the star performers for GT throughout IPL 2023.

Gill is 8 runs behind the Orange Cap, while Shami and Rashid are contending for the Purple Cap amongst them. That is why when it comes to fantasy cricket, most fans always pick these players on the best cricket betting sites.

However, GT’s success does not rely on these three alone. The team has a deep batting attack that goes down to their 8th batsmen. Similarly, Noor Ahmad and Mohit Sharma have been filling their roles perfectly in the bowling department. It is no fluke that the team has only lost 5 times in IPL 2023.

MI: Legacy and Experience

Unlike GT, MI has been a household name in the IPL for a decade. The team has won the most number of IPLs (5) and is looking to secure their 6th title.

Despite MI reaching the same position as GT, their paths have been completely different. The Mumbai Indians struggled through the first half of the league stage, only to find the rhythm back due to exceptional individual performances.

However, the team has been known to turn up during the latter half of the season. The current MI team is completely different from the season’s start. It is leveraging the experience of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Piyush Chawla.

In addition, youngsters like Cameron Green, Tilak Varma, and Akash Madhwal are performing well too. Based on the MI’s performance in the previous 4 matches, the team packs the caliber to give GT a tough fight.

Head-to-Head Battles and Rivalry

Even though it is unofficial, every MI fan is aware of the subtle rivalry between GT and MI. The primary reason behind it is the fact that Pardik left MI despite being a key part of the team. 

Moreover, the all-rounder went on to talk about MI’s team structure and how they buy the best talent, unlike CSK, which nurtures it.

Other than that, the teams have locked heads multiple times with no clear winner this season. Both teams have won 1 game against the other in IPL 2023, but MI has a better track record against GT overall.MI has beaten GT 2-1, including IPL 2022, but the case might be different this time around. 

Key Players and Impact

Both GT and MI have some excellent Indian talent on the team. GT has been cruising on the performance of Gill and Shami in IPL 2023. Conversely, MI has been relying on Kishan, Suryakumar, Madhwal, and Chawla.

The teams also have exceptional overseas all-rounders, like Rashid Khan and Cameron Green.

Gill for GT has been amazing throughout the season. The opener has been in impeccable touch, scoring 2 centuries and 42 runs in the past three games. If Gill can survive the powerplay, the player can set a strong foundation for Hardik, Miller, and Shankar.

For MI, Sky is the standout player with 500+ runs. The player recently scored a century and can blast any bowling line-up, especially on a batting track like the Narendra Modi stadium.

However, the pitch also supports bowlers with a new ball. Thus, both Kishan and Rohit will have to vary Shami during the powerplay.

Similarly, Gill will have to face Behrendorff, while Chawla will target a struggling Pandya and Miller.

Strategies and Game Plans

Both teams seem to have an ideal matchup set for the game. For MI, the team will utilize Behrendorff against Saha, who has been getting out early in the past games. After that, Chawla and Madhwal will take over and try to target GT’s middle order.

On the other hand, GT will target a rusty Rohit Sharma in the starting overs with Shami’s pace and swing. The team will use its strong bowling attack during the middle overs to restrict Suryakumar and Green from opening their hands.

A battle between these explosive batsmen and Rashid Khan will be crucial. Moreover, Rashid will receive the assistance of Noor Ahmad after the powerplay.

Fan Sentiment and Expectations

If fans are involved, MI will appear as the superior team. They have more experience and proven performances in such situations.

Moreover, the game is played on a batting-friendly pitch, which is MI’s strong suit. However, GT is a more stable and balanced team than MI in every form. The team has better-performing openers and a strong bowling attack.

The only area where MI has the upper hand can be the middle order, simply because of Sky’s brilliance and Green’s form. Given the circumstances, the cricket match is 50-50, and any team can win it.

MI fans are also rooting for the team to win and play against CSK in an el-classico IPL final.

Prediction and Final Thoughts

All things considered, GT should have a better chance of defeating MI in Qualifier 2. Both teams have multiple star players, but GT’s bowling makes it a superior team.

The only thing going MI’s way is its previous Qualifier performances, where the team has defeated superior opponents. Even then, if GT manages to restrict Green, Kishan, and Sky, the team will absolutely win the game.

However, the same cannot be said for MI seeing how deep GT’s batting goes. However, the fans will hope for MI to win, especially against an ex-MI player who left the team at a crucial time. 

On the other hand, Hardik will aim to defend GT’s title to show their debut title win was not a fluke. Overall, the game will include several memorable moments with both sides firing on all cylinders. 

John Scott

John Scott joined the Times of Casino’s team as a news writer. He previously worked with foremost publications as an intern. He holds bachelor of journalism degree and more than three years of experience of writing. In his free time, he enjoys travelling different places.

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