Tata IPL 2023 has entered the final stage, with GT and CSK ready to play Qualifier 1. Qualifying 1st and 2nd for the playoffs, the teams have dominated the competition till now. However, it is evident that the Gujarat Titans are the hot favorites to win the entire thing. The defending champion has won 10 of their 14 games with a net run rate of +0.809. On the other hand, the beloved Chennai Super Kings won 8 of their 14 games with an NRR of +0.652.
The game will be played on Chennai’s home ground, where the team will produce a massive turnout. In addition, this being MS Dhoni’s possible last IPL, every cricket fan will tune in to follow the match.
Key Players and Team Dynamics
While both GT and CSK have performed well as a team, there are clear standouts among both squads. Starting with the Gujarat Titans, Shubhman Gill with the bat has been a blessing for the team. The opener has scored 680 runs at an average of 56.66 in IPL 2023.
The 23-year-old has also scored consecutive centuries to help the team dominate the competition. Given the form Gill is in, the player is the first pick of every fantasy player on the best cricket betting sites. On the bowling front, GT has been led by Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan. Both bowlers have secured 24 wickets and are currently wearing the joint Purple Cap.
CSK has also been on a roll despite starting the season shakily. Devon Conway is leading the team’s batting attack with 585 runs at an average of 53.18. Conversely, the team relies on Tushar Deshpande in bowling as the local talent has secured 20 wickets till now.CSK and GT focus on similar strategies, with explosive batsmen opening their innings. The team is solidified with a reliable middle order, and their batting goes deep.
Even in bowling, the teams rely on quickies like Shami and Deshpande early on. Their middle overs are steered by Rashid Khan and Ravindra Jadeja. Death bowling is an area where CSK outright beats GT thanks to the Malinga-esque pacer, Pathirana.However, GT has a diverse bowling attack with 2 wicket-taking spinners and all-rounders like Hardik Pandya.
Battle of the Captains
When it comes to the battle of captaincy, there are only a handful of names that can compete with MS Dhoni. The player has proven his worth in the international circuit, and Hardik Pandya also seems to be following Dhoni’s pattern. Over time, Pandya has regressed from being a show maker to a chill captain, almost emulating MSD’s grace.
However, this calmness allows Pandya to make crucial decisions under pressure. That is why the player led the Gujarat Titans to win IPL 2022 on their debut. On the other hand, CSK has won 4 IPL trophies while making the playoffs 12 times under MSD’s captaincy.
CSK fans would like to avoid a direct head-to-head comparison since GT has beaten the team three times already.GT and CSK have faced each other thrice, and the Gujarat Titans have emerged victorious every time. The teams have met once In IPL 2023, and here is how the match went:
In Match 1, CSK batted first and set a target of 179 runs in front of GT. The team easily chased down the target in 18.2 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 92 off 50 balls in the game for CSK. However, the game was overshadowed by Gill’s 63 runs off 36 balls. Shami and Rashid Khan secured 2 wickets in the cricket match and will be looking to repeat the performance in Qualifier 1.
Importance of the Match
The winner of Qualifier 1 between GT vs. CSK will directly reach the IPL 2023 finals. Conversely, the loser will play against the winner between LSG and MI in Eliminator 2. Although a loss here does not mean elimination, both teams would like to enjoy a direct qualification. Moreover, a win here would help the team get some rest while boosting their morale.
Predictions and Expectations
Going on the simple head-to-head record and this season’s performance, the Gujarat Titans emerge as the better choice among the two.
The team has only lost 4 games till now and has defeated CSK thrice in their meeting. However, it does not mean that CSK has no chance against them. In fact, both teams have the assets to counter each other perfectly.
Since the teams operate quite similarly, their matchup will produce a close match. CSK will leverage their home crowd advantage that can make up for any clear deficiency against GT. Moreover, the CSK support has been impeccable this season, simply because of MS Dhoni. As a team known for turning up on crucial occasions, CSK is expected to come out on top against GT for the first time in IPL history.
GT and CSK are undoubtedly the two best teams in IPL 2023. Both squads have dominated the competition and have a balanced team matchup. Since this could be Dhoni’s last IPL, the fans at Chepauk will certainly cheer for CSK regardless of their allegiances. The cricket match between the powerhouses will be worth following, seeing how their recent form and performances. GT will enter the match to defend its title, while the Dhoni-led squad will aim to bid captain Cool a well-deserved farewell.