MA Chidambaram Stadium will host the highly anticipated IPL 2023 Qualifier 1 between the defending champion Gujarat Titans and the four-time champion Chennai Super Kings. Hardik Pandya and his teammates prevailed by five wickets at home in the inaugural match of the Indian Premier League 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
When these two heavyweights meet for the first playoff match of the season at Chepauk, the contest will be equitably poised due to their comparable strategies.
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, in emphasizing the similarities between the two teams, asserted that the teams are tactically similar, which will make their matchup exciting. Sanjay Manjrekar stated on Star Sports’ Cricket Live that Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans have been very similar tactically. The leadership group of both of these teams strives to maintain a positive environment in the locker room by avoiding drastic changes. The semifinal matchup between these two teams will be fascinating.”
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh believes the home conditions will give Chennai Super Kings a minor advantage, but the MS Dhoni-led side has not been able to turn Chepauk into an impregnable fortress this year, unlike in the past. However, the playoffs experience will bode well for this team.
Harbhajan Singh stated, “The competition between CSK and GT will be intense, as both teams understand how to win crucial games. CSK competing at home is a significant advantage because they are familiar with the conditions, but their performance at home has not been flawless this season. So this makes things intriguing, but CSK appears to be an entirely different team during the playoffs. I am eagerly anticipating this match.”
On the spin-friendly Chepauk surface, the Gujarat Titans will significantly rely on their star spinner Rashid Khan. Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag believes that the Afghanistan spin phenomenon will be the ace in the hole for the defending champions.
Virender Sehwag stated, “Rashid Khan is Gujarat’s ace in the hole. If they desire wickets, they bring him along. Moreover, Hardik’s utilization of Rashid is commendable. Rashid enjoys breaking partnerships, and due to his outstanding performance this season, he has become the most successful bowler.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway have been one of the primary factors for the Super Kings’ dominance in IPL 2023. Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh stated that the tandem will play a pivotal role for CSK in the playoffs.
Harbhajan Singh added, “Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway arrive fully prepared to the field. This season, they have been complementing one another very well. They have given CSK excellent starts, scored numerous runs, and entertained the crowd. CSK are in a favorable position today because teams whose openers perform well tend to score frequently, and thus they are in a strong position right now.