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The opening game of the Indian Premier League between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans turned out to be action-packed as Gujarat began their title defense with a clinical victory.
After being put in to bat first, Chennai’s batters failed to stay for long out in the middle as only Ruturaj Gaikwad stood tall against Gujarat’s bowling. He played a brilliant knock of 92 with the second-highest score from the innings being only 23 by Moeen Ali. Courtesy of Ruturaj’s heroic knock, Chennai posted 178/7 in the first innings.
In reply, Gujarat managed to chase down the target in the final over with contributions coming from almost everyone in the batting order. As a result, Gujarat chased down the target in 19.2 overs and got their campaign off to a rollicking start. As Gujarat crushed Chennai in the opening encounter, let’s take a look at the talking points from the game:
Ruturaj Gaikwad’s incredible knock
Chennai’s batting was all over the place as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals against Gujarat’s strong bowling. However, Gaikwad held one end and kept the innings going by scoring boundaries at regular intervals. He played scintillating innings of 92 off 50 balls smashing 4 fours and nine sixes in his innings.
Shubman Gill continues his great form
Shubman Gill was in sublime form coming into the IPL as he scored hundreds in all three formats in the first three months of 2023. He continued his form in the first game as well scoring a brilliant 63 off 36 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes and gave a great start to Gujarat’s run chase.
Rajvardhan Hangargekar shines with the ball for CSK on IPL debut
The 20-year-old Rajvardhan Hangargekar shone with the ball on his IPL debut for Chennai as he was the pick of the bowlers having scalped three wickets and giving away 36 runs in four overs. He gave breakthroughs at crucial stages of the game and dismissed Wriddhiman Saha, Sai Sudharsan, and Vijay Shankar.
Losing Skipper MS Dhoni said:
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 bowler 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.
Winning Skipper Hardik Pandya said:
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, Player of the Match (2/26 and 10* off 3) said:
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.