Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar has picked the battle between Suryakumar Yadav and Rashid Khan as the contest to look forward to in Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.
Mumbai Indians (MI) will take on Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, May 26. While MI hammered Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 81 runs in the Eliminator match, GT went down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 15 runs in Qualifier 1.
While previewing the GT vs MI clash in Qualifier 2, Manjrekar said that he is looking forward to the tussle between the world’s best T20 batter and the best bowler in the format. The former India cricket told ESPNcricinfo:
“There is one of the world’s best T20 bowlers on one side - Rashid Khan. On the other hand, there is Suryakumar Yadav, the world’s best T20 batter. I am not saying the contest will decide the match, but it will be the contest to look forward to. On very few occasions do you get to witness the world’s best T20 batter taking on the best T20 bowler.”
Adding that both teams have plenty of other match-winners as well, who can singlehandedly make a defining impact, Manjrekar opined that GT would be happy to be playing in Ahmedabad. The 57-year-old elaborated:
“This pitch will suit Mumbai Indians as well as Gujarat Titans. Titans will be happy that they are not playing in Chepauk and have returned to Ahmedabad. Their hard-hitters will be a lot more effective here. Their spinners do no need turning pitches. Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan can trouble batters on good pitches as well.”
The spoils were shared when Gujarat and Mumbai met in the league stage. GT won the home game by 55 runs, while MI won the clash at the Wankhede Stadium by 27 runs.
“Difficult to make a prediction” - Manjrekar on favorites in Qualifier 2
Asked who he feels has the upper hand in Qualifier 2, the former India batter replied that both teams are on the same terms. According to Manjrekar, MI have the winning momentum, but Gujarat’s spin prowess could make a big difference. He stated:
“It’s quite interesting that Gujarat Titans were the best team in the league stage and Mumbai Indians were termed the weakest side in the qualifiers. But the manner in which Mumbai Indians have been winning games, the way they have batted and bowled, and the way Titans lost the last game, suddenly both teams seem to be on even terms for me - on the same level.
"It will be difficult to make a prediction. The winning momentum is with Mumbai, but there is a big difference in the spin departments of the teams. If that comes into play, then one would have to back Titans.”
The winner of Qualifier 2 will meet CSK in the IPL 2023 final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, May 28.
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