CSK has entered into IPL 2023 Playoffs after ending the previous season at 9th position. MS Dhoni made a comeback as Captain for the team mid-season last year and he took over completely. CSK management or fans or even team doesn’t completely know about his future. For now, they have to concentrate on overpowering GT or Gujarat Titans threat in Qualifier 1. CSK for the first time in IPL plays GT at Chennai, their home ground.
In the last season, after inception of the team, GT got to play in Mumbai for entire season. Pandemic has determined where the tournament will be held. In 2023, home and away matches have been held again. CSK got back to Chepauk, their Anbuden as their management calls and their fortress. CSK have won 43 matches out of 61 matches they have played at Chepauk or MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. In 2011, they have played 8 matches and won all 8. When it comes to IPL 2023, they played 7 and won 4 out of them.
CSK lost to Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. While they came close to chasing down against RR, they failed to defend totals against PBKS and KKR. Remaining 4 matches that they have won, they won by chasing twice(MI and SRH) and defending twice(LSG and DC). CSK never played GT but the bowling of GT is similar to KKR and RR. They have quality spinners like Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad. And they have pacers like Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma. Rashid and Shami took 24 wickets each.
Interestingly, MS Dhoni and Rashid Khan have best batting strike rates – 190.74 and 237.5, respectively. CSK depends more on Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway opening partnership. GT, on the other hand, depends on Shubman Gill to carry innings through. David Miller and Hardik Pandya have produced mixed results for them this season. Wriddhiman Saha has been crucial in kick-starting the innings with flyers in powerplay. CSK found Shivam Dube, Ajinkya Rahane in the middle overs pushing the run rate.
But they have Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu completely out of form. Ravindra Jadeja has been blowing hot and cold. Also, he has to deal with the spectators pressure of playing above MS Dhoni with a knee injury. CSK needed MS Dhoni despite knee issue and he has been delivering as a wicketkeeper and captain, occasionally with bat in final overs. GT needs their middle order to come good, especially, Dasun Shanaka, if playing against his Sri Lankan counterparts – Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana. CSK needs Moeen Ali and Rayudu to play better against Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan.
While GT has never let CSK overpower them, Chennai conditions will be slightly tricky for them. CSK needs to prepare a wicket that helps their spinners and bowling while also neutralises threat of GT bowlers. It is tricky to really access which way CSK can go to overpower GT threat. Qualifier 1 will be interesting if CSK can win against GT. Otherwise, it will 2022 repeat with GT waiting for other teams in finals at their home ground in Ahmedabad. We will get all answers in few hours.
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