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IPL 2023: Tushar Deshpande replaces Ambati Rayudu in the first game against GT as the league’s first Impact Player.

IPL 2023: Tushar Deshpande replaces Ambati Rayudu in the first game against GT as the league's first Impact Player.

On Friday, March 31, the 16th season of the Indian Premier League officially began with an extravagant opening ceremony. Gujarat Titans, the defending champions, faced Chennai Super Kings in the season opener at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Chennai scored 178/7 in their allotted 20 overs after being given the opportunity to bat first.

Just as fan anticipation for the second inning was beginning to build, CSK management added to it by unveiling the first-ever “Impact Player” of the season. Tushar Deshpande, a seamer, was used in place of Ambati Rayudu.
CSK’s strategy, however, backfired as Deshpande was hit for a six by Wriddhiman Saha on the first delivery of the second over. He was further challenged by Gujarat’s opening pair of Saha and Gill, who scored 15 runs in his first over.

Gujarat wasn’t slow to insert a “Impact Player” into the match either; after Saha was out in the fourth over, they put Sai Sudharsan to the crease in place of Kane Williamson, who hurt himself playing defense in the opening innings.

Williamson made a superb attempt at the midwicket boundary on the third delivery of the 13th over of the first innings to prevent Ruturaj Gaikwad from hitting a certain six off his bat. He jumped to his maximum height to retrieve the ball, then tossed it back within the goal line before collapsing. He landed awkwardly on his knee, though, and was carried off the field right away. Furthermore, Sudharsan failed to make a significant influence on the game and was dismissed after making 22 off 17 balls.

Ruturaj Gaikwad contributes 92 to Chennai’s first-inning score of 178.
Returning to the first innings, CSK suffered an early loss as Devon Conway’s stumps were removed by Mohammed Shami in the third over. Gaikwad’s remarkable 92-ball innings for CSK, which included four fours and nine sixes, kept the CSK innings together. Chennai was able to score 178/7 in the first innings thanks to Moeen Ali’s (23 off 17) and MS Dhoni’s (14* off 7) contributions.

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