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IPL 2023: Match 1 (GT vs CSK) – 3 Matchups To Watch Out For
By CricShots - Mar 31, 2023 1:24 pm
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Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) will lock horns with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the opening match of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Friday, March 31 at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad. Considering the star-studded lineup of both teams, fans can expect a high-octane affair. Both CSK and GT endured contrasting campaigns in the previous edition.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

While GT became the champions in their maiden appearance of the cash-rich league, under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya, CSK won just four of their 14 games, ultimately finishing in 9th place on the points table. Incidentally, GT emerged victorious in both of their league matches against CSK last year. However, MS Dhoni and his men shouldn’t be discounted, given their impressive record in the tournament.

ALSO READ: Match 1 (GT vs CSK) – Playing XI And Fantasy XI Predictions

On that note, Let’s take a look at three exciting match-ups for the opening game of the much-awaited IPL 2023.

#3 Shubman Gill vs Deepak Chahar

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill

GT’s young opener, Shubman Gill has garnered a lot of limelight for his superlative form across formats. He will be shouldering a lot of responsibility for his team in their clash against CSK, given his ability to change gears as per the situation. In last season, he was the second-highest run-getter for the team, mustering 483 runs, including four half-centuries, from 16 games. CSK will be wary of Shubman Gill’s purple patch and want their medium pacer Deepak Chahar to send him packing early in the contest.

The bowler missed the entire season last year due to a back injury and will have a point to prove to justify the hefty price tag of ₹14 crore. Chahar, who is considered a great exponent of swing bowling, can put GT under pressure by dismissing Gill in the powerplay overs. The two have squared off on six occasions in the IPL. Gill scored 45 runs against Chahar and has been dismissed by him twice.

#2 Hardik Pandya vs Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja

India’s two talismanic all-rounders, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja, are expected to play a major role with both bat and ball for their respective franchises. Hardik had a dream run last year, as he amassed 487 runs from 15 matches, he was the highest run-getter for his team. He also contributed significantly with his bowling, bagging eight wickets.

On the other hand, Ravindra Jadeja had a topsy-turvy campaign. From relinquishing the captaincy after just eight matches to being ruled out due to injury, it proved to be a forgettable campaign for the all-rounder. With bragging rights on the line between the two-star players, the contest between Hardik and Jadeja will be a mouthwatering one for the fans.

#1 Rashid Khan vs MS Dhoni

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan

MS Dhoni is all set to make a comeback to competitive cricket with IPL 2023. The tournament could very well be his final hurrah. While several fans await Dhoni’s vintage swashbuckling power-hitting batting, GT’s Rashid Khan could prove to be a spoilsport. The keeper-batter’s vulnerability against leggies has been quite evident, especially during the fag end of his career.

Dhoni has been dismissed by the leg spinners 19 times in the IPL and has an underwhelming strike rate of 105.56 against them. Rashid has been in scintillating form with the ball in shortest format of the game. During Afghanistan’s third and final T20I of the recently concluded series against Pakistan, he achieved the feat of bowling 100 balls without conceding a boundary.