3 player battles to watch out for in CSK vs GT, Final of IPL 2023
After almost two months of incredible cricket, it all boils down to the final of the IPL 2023 season between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Gujarat Titans (GT) in Ahmedabad on Sunday, May 28.
Arguably the two best teams in the league, CSK managed to beat GT in Qualifier 1 and qualify straight to the final. GT had to take the longer route, but showed how good they are after a comprehensive win in the Qualifier 2 helped them set a finale clash with MS Dhoni and Co.
GT will be fancying their chances as the final is being played on their home ground, but CSK are chasing a record-equalling fifth title and it promises to be an absolutely riveting final.
On that note, let's take a look at the three match-ups that could potentially decide who wins the IPL 2023 title:
#3 Devon Conway vs Mohammed Shami
Devon Conway played a scratchy knock in Qualifier 1 which came to an end courtesy of GT pacer Mohammed Shami. The veteran Indian pacer has been incredible for the Titans and the onus once again will be on him to strike with the new ball and get some swing upfront.
Conditions in Ahmedabad have aided pacers and Shami will relish the opportunity to make early inroads in the CSK batting line-up. Conway has been dismissed thrice by Shami and has scored just five runs off 12 balls off him in T20 cricket. Chennai depend heavily on their openers to get them off to a good start and this match-up could change the complexion of their innings.
#2 Hardik Pandya vs Ravindra Jadeja
GT skipper Hardik Pandya had played a few handy cameos, but hasn't been able to be consistent with the bat. However, he can take inspiration from his own Player of the Match performance in the IPL 2022 final against the Rajasthan Royals.
CSK will be wary of the threat that Hardik the batter possesses and will want to keep his scoring in check. They were successful in frustrating Hardik in Qualifier 1 when the spinners didn't give him any room to hit boundaries and eventually dismissed the batter by inducing a false shot.
Hardik has scored 18 runs off 16 balls from Jadeja in T20s and has already been dismissed twice. A lot could come down to whether he is able to dominate Jadeja and other spinners in the middle overs.
#1 Shubman Gill vs Deepak Chahar
It will be an understatement to say that Shubman Gill is in the form of his life. The GT opener has been sensational this season and in all likelihood has already sealed the Orange Cap with a staggering 851 runs from 16 matches.
Fresh off three centuries in his last four IPL games, Gill is arguably the biggest threat for the Men in Yellow. The best chance for CSK to stop the opener from doing any damage is to get his wicket upfront and they will hope Deepak Chahar does that job.
Chahar might get a bit of help when it comes to seam and swing in Ahmedabad and will be determined to strike early. While Gill has scored 62 runs in 47 balls against Chahar in T20s, he has also been dismissed thrice. This makes the match-up almost equally poised and intriguing to watch.