Gujarat Titans (GT) captain Hardik Pandya has paid a heartening tribute to former Indian captain MS Dhoni ahead of the Qualifier 1 clash against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Tuesday, May 23.
GT, CSK, Lucknow Super Giants, and Mumbai Indians have qualified for the IPL 2023 playoffs after the conclusion of the league stage on May 21. GT and CSK will meet for Qualifier 1 at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai, with the winner booking their berth in the final.
Ahead of the big game, Gujarat Titans shared a video on their social media platforms, where skipper Hardik Pandya, who made his international debut under MS Dhoni, is seen talking about his bond with the CSK talisman.
Hardik Pandya said:
"A lot of people think Mahi (MS Dhoni) is serious and all that. For me, I crack jokes and I don't see him as Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Obviously, I have leanred a lot of things from him, a lot of positive things, which I've learned from him just while watching, not even much talking."
"But for me, he is just my dear friend, dear brother, who I do pranks (with), I chill (with). I will always be a Mahendra Singh Dhoni fan and for so many fans out there and so many cricket lovers. You need to be a proper devil to hate Mahendra Singh Dhoni."
GT vs CSK Head to Head record in IPL
Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings have faced each other three times in the IPL since 2022. The two teams only locked horns once this season, in the tournament opener.
The Yellow Army are yet to register a win (0-3) against the defending IPL champions and the Qualifier 1, on their home turf, will serve as the best opportunity to outsmart Hardik Pandya & Co.
GT will play their first IPL game in Chennai even though some of their players have played at Chepauk in the past during their stints with other franchises.