MS Dhoni-Gary Kirsten reunite in Ahmedabad to commemorate India’s World Cup victory in 2011


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The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will begin on Friday, March 31, with defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) hosting Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the former India coach Gary Kirsten have reunited in Ahmedabad and brought back memories of India’s success at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Kirsten, the former South African cricketer, is currently serving as GT’s batting coach and mentor.

Dhoni and Kirsten interacted at the Narendra Modi Stadium, on the eve of the curtain-raiser of the cash-rich league. Kristen coached the Dhoni-led Team India to the 2011 World Cup triumph. Notably, India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium to win their second World Cup title in 28 years.

GT, led by Hardik Pandya, will look to build on their debut season performance. CSK, on the other hand, will be attempting to win their fifth IPL title this year. Notably, CSK had a disastrous season in the previous edition, losing twice to the reigning champions.

CSK have strengthened their squad for the 2023 IPL season by signing England all-rounder Ben Stokes. He and star India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will be critical to CSK’s success this season. Notably, bowler Deepak Chahar rejoined the team after recovering from an injury, he suffered in 2022. GT, on the other hand, have added players such as former New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson, and Ireland youngster, Joshua Little.

The X-factor for CSK this season is Ben Stokes: Matthew Hayden

Ahead of the IPL 2023 opener, former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden said that Ben Stokes would be the X-factor for the four-time champions. The 51-year-old claimed that he has the ability to win games. He further stated that Stokes is now under the Chennai Super Kings regime, where everything revolves around cricket.

“The X-factor for CSK this season is their new signing – Ben Stokes who has never realised his potential in the IPL. And he’s one of those players and we see him play all over the world. He’s got that match-winning ability. Now under a CSK regime where it’s all about cricket. I think that he’s got the big chance to be the X-factor this season,” Hayden told Star Sports.


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