New Delhi : Ahead of the Qualifier 1 between Gujarat Titans and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings, former India cricketer Virender Sehwag reckons the Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan will play the role of trump card for the defending champions.
The defending champions Gujarat Titans will be relying heavily upon their star spinner Rashid Khan on the spin-friendly Chepauk track. The IPL 2023 is all set to host the highly-anticipated Qualifier 1 between defending champions Gujarat Titans and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The two teams locked horns in the opening encounter of IPL 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium where Hardik Pandya and company emerged victorious by 5 wickets at home.
Both CSK and GT have been similar in their approach and it will be an evenly poised contest at Chepauk when these two heavyweights collide in the first playoff match of the season.
Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live, Sehwag said, ‘Rashid Khan is the trump card for Gujarat. If they want wickets, they bring him. And then the way Hardik has used Rashid, it is commendable. Rashid likes to break partnerships and now he has become the most successful bowler of this season on the basis of his excellent performance.’
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar while highlighting the similarities between the two teams claimed the two are tactically similar teams and that will make the contest between them interesting.
‘Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans have been very similar teams tactically. Both these teams don’t look to make too much of changes and the leadership group keeps the atmosphere light in the dressing room. The battle between these two in playoffs will be an interesting one,’ Manjrekar said.
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh believes the home condition will give CSK a slight advantage but the MS Dhoni-led side hasn’t been able to convert Chepauk into an impregnable fortress this year, unlike in the past, but the playoffs experience will bode this team well.
‘The contest between CSK and GT will be intense as both teams know how to win big games. CSK playing at home is a big advantage, they know the conditions well but somewhere their performance at home hasn’t been foolproof this year. So this makes things interesting but CSK looks a completely different side when it plays in the playoffs. I am really looking forward to this match,’ Harbhajan Singh said.
The in-form opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway has been one of the reasons for the Super Kings’ dominance in IPL 2023. Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh has stated that the duo will have to play a crucial role in the playoffs stage for CSK.
‘Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway come to the ground with full preparation. They have been complimenting each other very well this season. They have given good starts to CSK and scored runs in abundance and entertained the spectators. The team whose openers play well, tend to score well and that is why CSK are in a good position today,’ Harbhajan added.