Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 witnessed an intense battle between defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) and five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, May 26. The outcome of this match would determine the finalist to face the four-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2023 final on Sunday, May 28, also in Ahmedabad.
GT skipper Hardik Pandya showed great enthusiasm and motivation as he led the huddle chat before the crucial game. With the aim of securing victory, the 29-year-old made two changes to his team, bringing in Sai Sudharsan and Joshua Little while replacing Dasun Shanaka and Darshan Nalkande.
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The IPL organization shared a video on Twitter capturing Hardik’s energetic address to his team, which quickly gained attention and went viral on social media platforms. The passionate display of leadership by Hardik showcased the team’s determination and set the stage for an exhilarating clash between the two powerhouse franchises.
Fans eagerly awaited the outcome of this high-stakes encounter, as the winner would earn the opportunity to challenge CSK for the coveted IPL 2023 trophy. “An energetic Captain @hardikpandya7 leads the huddle talk for @gujarat_titans ahead of the BIG game,” IPL captioned the post.
An energetic Captain @hardikpandya7 leads the huddle talk for @gujarat_titans ahead of the BIG game 🙌🙌#TATAIPL | #Qualifier2 | #GTvMI pic.twitter.com/1L6TOVgvKz
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 26, 2023
During the toss, the MI skipper, Rohit Sharma decided to bowl first owing to the rainfall ahead of the game. Rohit said, “There is a bit of weather around and the pitch is also sticky. As the game goes on, the pitch will get better and better. More than anything else, it’s our comfort and the guys are comfortable having a score in front of them.”
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He further added, “In Chennai, we wanted to bat first, according to the conditions. This is a different [MI] team and we have come across many situations like this. Hopefully, it’s just another game for us and it’s important to put your best foot forward. The youngsters have come along well and they’re quite confident and that’s probably one of the reasons why we wanted to chase.”
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya said, ” We would have bowled first as well, looking at the rain, but it looks like a good track. I think we all have seen no matter how the group stage goes, qualifiers are fun. It’s important to enjoy [the occasion] and the boys are motivated. I know the ground and the way the crowd supports us. The support is brilliant.”