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“It started last year when we didn’t qualify for the playoffs,” Ruturaj Gaikwad says of CSK’s return to form in IPL 2023.

"It started last year when we didn't qualify for the playoffs," Ruturaj Gaikwad says of CSK's return to form in IPL 2023.

Tuesday at Chepauk, in Qualifier 1, the four-time defending champions Chennai Super Kings defeated the defending champions Gujarat Titans by 15 runs to advance to the IPL 2023 final. Ruturaj Gaikwad, CSK’s opening batter, thanked the team management and commended them for making the players feel secure and motivated, as well as clearly outlining their roles, which contributed to Tuesday’s achievement of the 10th IPL final.

Before this season, several CSK players, including Gaikwad, had never played an IPL game in Chennai. On March 3, the program began, with MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ambati Rayudu among the first players to arrive. Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar joined the squad late after finishing their rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

No one knew what the wicket would look like or how it would behave. Batsmen who perform well on flat wickets, where they do not need to focus as much on their shots and the bowling of the opposition, are to be commended. Even while batting, it’s important to be in the zone, according to Gaikwad, who was quoted by NDTV during the post-match press conference.

It began last year when we failed to qualify for the semifinals. Ruturaj Gaikwad

“It began last season when we did not qualify for the semifinals. Clearly, the management had room for improvement, and there were areas where we needed to exert more effort or add personnel. This year, from the very first game, I believe we were clinical and certain about who would participate and who would not, as well as our probable 12, 13, or 15 players,” he added.

MS Dhoni’s team reached the final for the last time in the 2021 season, when they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai to win their fourth trophy. CSK’s return to the summit battle follows the team’s second-worst season in the IPL, ranking ninth out of ten teams competing in the 2022 edition.

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