IPL 2023 started with a bang when the defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) took on the four-time IPL title winner Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the campaign opener on Friday, March 31. As expected a thrilling game took place where CSK managed 178/7 runs in their allotted 20 overs after being put into bat first. Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed a blistering 92 whereas others too contributed a bit and they posted a decent total as well. For GT, Shami, Alzarri Joseph and Rashid Khan picked up 2 wickets each.
While chasing, Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha got off to a flying start where the former scored a quick fifty. Later on, Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia scored quickly and they sealed the deal with 4 balls remaining.
Here is what the captains and the player of the match said after the game:
MS Dhoni, the CSK captain said as quoted by Cricbuzz: “We all knew there will be dew. We could have done a bit more with the batsman ship. Ruturaj (Gaikwad) was brilliant, he times the ball well and he’s a pleasure to watch. The way he picks his options, it is pleasing to watch. I think it’s important for the youngsters to step in. I think Raj (Hangargekar) has pace and he will get better with time. Think the bowlers will get better, a no-ball is something that’s in your control, so you need to work on that. I felt two left armers will be a better option so I went ahead with them. Shivam was an option, but I felt comfortable with the bowlers overall.”
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Hardik Pandya, the GT captain said as quoted by Cricbuzz: “Obviously very happy. We did put ourselves in a difficult situation but Rahul and Rashid did very well. We were happy at the mid-innings because at one point they looked like getting 200, but we got those couple of wickets to pull things back. Having this Impact rule makes my job difficult. I have too many options, and because of this someone will bowl less. This game I realised bowling hard lengths was the way to go, that’s why Alzarri bowled late. Having Rashid is a real asset, he will get you wickets and get you some runs late down the order as well. But today my shot and Shubman’s shot wasn’t the best, we need to do better to ensure we don’t put the responsibility on these guys lower down.”
Rashid Khan, the Player of the Match said as quoted by Cricbuzz: “So happy to get this crucial Man of the Match. Will give me a lot of the energy for the rest of the competition. I try to do my best in all three formats, and give it all in the practice sessions. The plan is hard to bowl to lefties, but the idea was to keep it tight and I knew in my mind that if I keep it simple and get two wickets, we will be back in the game. I knew if I kept it simple we will get the results. ( On batting improvement) It is all thanks to the time we spend in the nets, and the confidence given to me by the coaching staff and captain Hardik. I’ve been batting a lot and the results are there to see.”
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Shubman Gill, who played a brilliant knock, said as quoted by Cricbuzz: “Felt pretty good. Little bit disappointed with myself for getting out. But getting off to a good start is very important for the team. Definitely makes a difference when you’ve got runs under your belt at International level. Wicket is so good as a batsman. Don’t have to overhit, just have to time it well and it flies. No specific roles given to us. It’s just about who gets set. We have to play the situation. Today we were chasing not a very high score, but a high-ish total. So the intent from Wriddhi bhai was to get as many runs as possible in the powerplay.”