New Delhi: On one side are the new champions and the stars of the future. On the other hand a winning machine and an experienced team. What can be a better match than this to start the new season of IPL returning to the old style (home-away format). A clash of the new and the old (in terms of experience). IPL 2023 season is going to start from Friday 31st March. In the very first match, there is Gujarat Titans, captained by the defending champions and Hardik Pandya. In front of him is the four-time winner Chennai Super Kings, whose command is in the hands of the great captain MS Dhoni. That means a blockbuster debut.
The beginning of the new season of IPL is special, it is also important because for the first time Gujarat Titans will play on their home ground as a champion. The last season ended at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and the new season is also starting on this ground. The festival of T20 league will also start with a tremendous opening ceremony in the world’s largest cricket stadium, in which many Bollywood stars are going to participate.
Will IPL start without Dhoni?
Whatever will happen in the opening ceremony, all that will happen under the script. After that the action of the field will run on the basis of sheer ability and a little bit of luck, not on any fixed script. No one can predict what will happen and it has already started, which is not good for Chennai Super Kings. Not only CSK, but there is no good news for IPL fans as well. Some reports have claimed that CSK captain MS Dhoni is suffering from a knee injury and he is not sure to play in the first match.
If a team has to go without its captain at the beginning of the season, then it is a blow. If the captain is also like Dhoni, then the morale of the team in front increases further. That’s where your team becomes a disaster. Who will captain? Who will be the wicketkeeper? Its decision will now be taken on Friday itself.
Chahar’s return, dependent on Gaikwad
CSK will miss left-arm pacer Mukesh Chaudhary, who performed well last season, who is out of the season due to injury. However, it is a matter of relief for CSK that Deepak Chahar is fully fit. Chahar could not play in the last season. However, Chahar has not played any T20 match since October 2022 and in such a situation whether he will be able to find his rhythm in this format or not, it will be a challenge.
CSK’s batting will once again depend on Rituraj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali. At the same time, Ravindra Jadeja’s good form will also give him strength.
Hardik-Gil will strengthen Gujarat
Talking about Gujarat, at least on the injury front, this team is not in any kind of trouble and almost all its players are available. Captain Hardik Pandya will once again be his pivot, who can do wonders with the bat as well as the ball. Hardik, who has captained Team India, has impressed a lot in the last one year in this responsibility. Also, his personal form is also good.
On the other hand, Shubman Gill’s strong performance in international cricket will increase the strength of the team. Opening last season, Gill played a big role in Gujarat’s title win. In the final, he took the team to victory by playing an unbeaten innings.
Still a lot of tension in batting
However, Gujarat will still have to deal with some issues in batting. In this, there is a question of Gill’s opening partner. Also, it has to be seen who will play at number three. In the form of Kane Williamson, they have bought an experienced batsman but Williamson’s T20 form has not been good. The biggest concern for Gujarat is the absence of David Miller, who is currently with his South African team and will not be able to play in the first match. Who will get the responsibility of finishing in his place is a matter of curiosity.
GT clean sweep
Talking about the record, there is not much to see here. The reason for this is to play only one season of Gujarat. Nevertheless, in the last season, Gujarat Titans defeated CSK in both the matches. That is, till now only Gujarat has a clean sweep. Will Gujarat be able to maintain this trend in the new season as well, it remains to be seen.