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Chennai Super Kings take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2024 opener on March 22


NEW DELHI: The much-anticipated 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick off on March 22, with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), breaking the cash-rich league’s long-standing tradition of the opening match between last edition’s winners and runners-up.
MS Dhoni-led CSK will play their first match in front of their home crowd at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The BCCI on Thursday unveiled the schedule of 21 matches for the first 17 days of the tournament, taking into consideration the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The complete IPL schedule will be disclosed at a later date, pending the finalisation of the general election dates.

During the 17-day period, 21 matches will be played across 10 cities, with each team playing a minimum of three matches and a maximum of five.
The first weekend will feature two double headers, beginning with the Punjab Kings hosting the Delhi Capitals on Saturday afternoon, followed by the Kolkata Knight Riders hosting the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the evening.
On Sunday afternoon (March 24), the action will shift to Jaipur, where the home team Rajasthan Royals will face the Lucknow Super Giants.
Sunday evening will witness the home team Gujarat Titans, the 2022 champions and finalists of the last season going head-to-head with five-time winners Mumbai Indians.

Having chosen to play their first two home matches in Visakhapatnam, the Delhi Capitals (DC) will first host the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, March 31 in the port city and will then face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the same venue on Wednesday, April 3.
As per the format, 10 teams are divided into two groups of five. In the group stage, each team plays 14 games facing the other four sides in their group two times each (home and away basis), four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times.

Despite the upcoming general elections, the tournament will take place entirely in India.
“As in the past, the BCCI will work closely with government and security agencies, following all necessary protocols and advisories related to the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections in India.
“Once the dates for the 18th Lok Sabha elections are announced, the Board will review and address any issues pertaining to the schedule of the first two weeks.

“Subsequently, the BCCI will work in tandem with local authorities to finalize the schedule for the remainder of the season, taking into account the polling dates,” stated a BCCI media release.
The IPL was held entirely overseas only once, in 2009, in South Africa. In 2014, a portion of the tournament was held in the UAE due to the elections. However, in 2019, the IPL took place in India despite the elections.
Hardik Pandya is all set to make his debut as the captain for the Mumbai Indians, taking over from Rohit Sharma, who serves as the skipper for Team India across all formats.
Adding to the excitement, the emerging talent from New Zealand, Rachin Ravindra, will be making his maiden appearance in the IPL, following a notable performance in the ODI World Cup last year.
Meanwhile, the iconic figure and CSK stalwart, Dhoni, who led his team to five IPL titles, has been out of competitive cricket since their victorious campaign in the previous season.
The IPL players’ auction for the 2024 season took place in December last year, with Australian pacer Mitchell Starc becoming the most expensive player in IPL history after being bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 24.75 crore.

March 22: CSK vs RCB
March 23: PBKS vs DC; KKR vs SRH
March 24: RR vs LSG; GT vs MI
March 25: RCB vs PBKS
March 26: CSK vs GT
March 27: SRH vs MI
March 28: RR vs DC
March 29: RCB vs KKR
March 30: LSG vs PBKS
March 31: GT vs SRH; DC vs CSK
April 1: MI vs RR
April 2: RCB vs LSG
April 3: DC vs KKR
April 4: GT v PBKS
April 5: SRH vs CSK
April 6: RR vs RCB
April 7: MI vs DC
April 7: LSG vs GT.

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Zimbabwe stun West Indies, Dutch knock Nepal out of World Cup qualifier


World Cup qualifier

Zimbabwe pulled off a remarkable 35-run victory over West Indies in a crucial match of the World Cup qualifiers on Saturday. This triumph proved to be a significant milestone for Zimbabwe, while Netherlands ended Nepal’s aspirations of qualifying for the global showpiece for the first time.
Netherlands’ comprehensive seven-wicket win secured their spot in the Super Sixes stage. This outcome also ensured that both Zimbabwe and two-time champions West Indies advanced to the next round.
However, Zimbabwe will carry the added advantage of carrying the two points earned from their victory into the next stage.
The upcoming stage will feature the top three teams from each of the two groups of five, setting the stage for intense competition.
Zimbabwe, put into bat, made 268 with Sikandar Raza top scoring with 68 from 58 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes.
Ryan Burl added a crucial 50 with five fours and a six after Zimbabwe had been 112-4 at one stage while skipper Craig Ervine made 47 at the top of the order.
In reply, West Indies were well-placed at 134-3 before they lost seven wickets for just 99 runs.Opener Kyle Mayers top scored with 56 off 72 balls featuring eight fours and a six.

In the middle order, captain Shai Hope (30), Nicolas Pooran (34) and Roston Chase (44) all got starts but Tendai Chatara (3-52) and man of the match Raza (2-36) applied the brakes as the West Indies were dismissed for 233 in the 45th over.

“We did feel that we were maybe 20-30 short of what would probably be a winning score,” said Ervine.

“It is always going to be tough mentally. We have talked about treating every game and opposition the same. Today has been quite an emotional day for everybody and it is not a long time before we have to come back and play again on Monday.”
Hope admitted that fielding let them down.

“Too much is on my mind right now, not sure if I can explain it. Lot of hurting and very disappointed but the tournament is not over yet,” said Hope.

“We have to make sure we harden ourselves and understand what we have to do moving forward.”
Earlier, Nepal were put in to bat in their crunch tie by the Netherlands but folded for 167 after a middle-overs crisis initiated by Vikramjit Singh (2-20) and Logan van Beek (4-24).

Nepal slumped from 46 for 1 to 91 for 5, and were unable to recover with skipper Rohit Paudel top scoring with 33.
In reply, opener Max O’Dowd hit 90 of 75 balls with eight fours and four sixes with Bas de Leede making an undefeated 41 as the Dutch reached their target in the 28th over.

“Disappointed not scoring the hundred but for me I just want to contribute to match-winning knocks — 90 in a winning cause is enough,” said man of the match O’Dowd.
Paudel admitted that Nepal struggled to cope with the short ball tactics of the Dutch.

“We had a plan but we couldn’t execute. We need to learn and go back home and see how we can improve in that area,” he said.
In the last round of Group A games on Monday, West Indies face the Netherlands, who are second in the pool, while Zimbabwe tackle the already eliminated United States.
(With AFP Inputs)

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CSK vs GT IPL 2023 Final: Gujarat Titans hope to gatecrash MSD party


CSK vs GT IPL 2023 Final

Gujarat Titans and CSK seem to be evenly matched going into IPL summit clash today
AHMEDABAD: There is no trophy in the annals of cricketing history that MS Dhoni has not laid his hands on. But come Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium, he would like to give one final push to bring home the fifth IPL title for the Chennai Super Kings.


Standing in his way are Hardik Pandya‘s Gujarat Titans, who are basking in the glory of opener Shubman Gill‘s (851 runs in 16 matches) finest season and hoping to become the first franchise to win two IPL trophies at the first time of asking.

MS Dhoni’s CSK: Why Chennai Super Kings Are The Most Consistent Team In IPL History

It is fitting that after 73 matches the curtains on this year’s IPL are being brought down by two of the most consistent teams.


CSK vs GT IPL 2023 Final: Chennai Super Kings stand between Gujarat Titans and history

The aggressive brand of cricket that Pandya has egged his team to play is a leaf out of Dhoni’s book. When Dhoni had the full squad at his disposal, his team was invincible. But even with a depleted squad, the 41-year-old has utilized his resources to the fullest to take his team to the summit clash.

The Titans are a well-rounded batting and bowling unit, and they are up against the Super Kings, who have gone from strength to strength under Dhoni’s able leadership and guile.


So, how will Dhoni and Co. stop the marauding Gill or how will Shami and co. look to halt Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway?
TOI delves into the match-ups…
Gill vs Deepak Chahar
Chahar has shown if there is some juice in the pitch, he is a bowler to reckon with. His short ball to dismiss Gill in the first qualifier is something that will be etched in the latter’s memory. Meanwhile, Tushar Deshpande has gone for runs but has taken 21 wickets in 15 matches to be CSK’s highest wicket-taker. How the duo go about against Gill will set the early tone.


GT’s middle-order vs CSK’s spinners
Maheesh Theekshana and Ravindra Jadeja spun a web around the GT’s middle-order batters in the first qualifier. However, things are going to be different in Ahmedabad with the surface expected to remain true for batting throughout the match.

CSK openers vs GT pacers
Mohammed Shami (28 wickets), Rashid Khan (27 wickets) and Mohit Sharma (24 wickets) are the top three wicket-takers this IPL. But none have been able to stop Gaikwad (564 runs from 15 matches). In two matches against GT, the opener has made 92 and 60 and helped the team set up competitive totals.

CSK vs GT | IPL 2023 Final | Which team will take the trophy this year?

After the initial struggle, Conway (625 runs from 15 matches) has prospered to become a support for Gaikwad.

Rashid Khan vs CSK middle order
In Shivam Dube, a resurgent Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali, CSK have a middle order which can match GT man for man. Add Dhoni to the mix. His fans might want to see him play next season, but his knees just don’t seem to be able to handle the rigours of any form of international cricket. How the CSK middle order tackle the eight overs between Rashid and Noor will be a crucial factor.

Both teams are evenly matched, with no clear favourites. Will Dhoni’s guile triumph or will Pandya, who considers Dhoni his mentor, have another IPL trophy to his credit?


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IPL 2023: Shubman Gill’s work ethic shines through

Teammates praise him for approaching game with clear mind
AHMEDABAD: It is the fifth ball of the 14th over of Gujarat Titans’ innings. Mumbai Indians allrounder Cameron Green is running in to ball to a marauding Shubman Gill.
The latter, then batting on 110, dances down the pitch exposing his stumps. Green, though, shortens his length, lands the delivery on a fifth stump line and looks to have beaten the 23-year-old’s attempted aggressive shot. But, that’s not the end of the story. Using his long reach and generating strength from his powerful arms and wrists, Gill, despite getting cramped, is able to manufacture a shot that lands way beyond the long-on fence.

That cricketing shot, the short-arm jab, exemplifies Gill, his approach to batting, his vivid range of shot-making, and above all, his calm demeanour, judgement of the game and the ability to take the match by the scruff of the neck.
The short-arm jab is neither a full-fledged pull nor a conventional flick but a modern day cocktail of both that has been romanticized by today’s batters. From Gill to Kyle Mayers to Quinton de Kock to the currently injured Rishabh Pant, all modern-day batters have attempted their own versions of short-arm jabs and found success with varying degrees.


IPL 2023: Shubman Gill ton helps Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians to reach final

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But, none have been as pleasing to the eye as the one manufactured by Gill at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday night. His 129 (60b; 7×4, 10×6) was the cornerstone of Titans’ 233/3 and backed by an all-round bowling performance, saw them bowl out MI for 171 to clinch a place in the final.
So, what sets Gill apart from other batters? His Ranji team-mate and friend Gurkeerat Singh Mann attributes Gill’s current batting exploits to his work ethic.


“It is a combination of various factors. But if I have to point out one aspect, his game awareness stands out. Immediately after hitting Piyush Chawla (in the 9th over) for a straight six, he ran twos of the next two deliveries. His reluctance to settle for anything mediocre makes him different. He watches Virat (Kohli) play, idolizes him and learns from him. His imbibes positives from all cricketers. His batting is like the class’s brightest student who excels in all subjects equally,” says Mann, in a conversation with TOI.
Mann, who was part of the Titans title-winning squad last season, further adds, “His mind is very clear. He knows his scoring areas, his strengths, and he builds on it. Identifying your strength, knowing it and working on it is difficult.”

“If he returns from a tournament, you will find him in the gym at 8 the next morning, which is a testimony to his work ethic. He doesn’t compromise on doing the basics even after a great knock,” testifies Mann, who has played three ODIs for India.

His innings on Friday, Mann stated, was a continuation of his current form. “He read the situation well. He knew the importance of the match. He continued with the form he was in and paced his innings beautifully. He started off steadily but accelerated after his fifty, which shows his smartness and ability to read a game,” the 32-year-old stated.

The knock’s importance was also not lost on Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher, who termed it a fantastic innings. “A T20 game is tough at times. We were outplayed today. Gill played a fantastic innings. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t execute on the night, which happens in T20 cricket,” Boucher said, in his assessment of MI’s 62-run loss, at the post-match press conference.

Gill’s captain Hardik Pandya too was effusive in his praise for the 23-year-old’s batting. “Shubman’s clarity and amazing innings is what’s keeping him on top. He wasn’t rushed or not in control at any point. He’s a superstar who will do big things for the franchise and the country,” Pandya said at the post-match presentation.

His Titans teammate Vijay Shankar stressed on his work ethic, which makes him lovely to watch. “He has an amazing work ethic. That is why he is one of the best cricketers right now. The way he is batting right now is unbelievable. The way he practices is something really important. He practices with purpose. Every time he turns up for the game, it is lovely to see him switch on from ball one,” highlighted Shankar at the post-match press conference.

His biggest strength, the 32-year-old from Tamil Nadu adds, is his ability to find the gaps in the powerplay. “He can hit sixes. But there was an innings where he got 90 with only one six. That’s the beauty of his batting. He can do both. He can play the ball in the gaps and hit the boundaries whenever needed. He can hit the big one also. He is someone with everything. He knows when to use what and that’s the highlight of being a player, and he shows us how it is to be done.”
Come Sunday, the Titans fans will be hoping for an encore from Gill against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings.


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MI vs RCB Today IPL Match: Mumbai Indians face Royal Challengers Bangalore in mid-table clash with high stakes


Rohit’s form, Virat’s strike-rate the talking points as MI host RCB

MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) must be hurting after suffering demoralizing defeats in their last match. MI were hammered by Chennai Super Kings while RCB were slayed by Delhi Capitals.
When they lock horns at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday, they will be desperate to get a win under their belt and put some breathing space between them and the chasing pack while staying in touch with those above them, especially with all the teams still in contention for a playoff spot.
Under the lens will be Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – two of the biggest stars of Indian cricket at the moment – who have served their franchises well over the years but questions have been raised about the way they have gone about their business this time around. Rohit has been off the boil in the last few matches and while scoring runs hasn’t been an issue for Kohli, the pace at which he has scored them has been criticised.


In 10 matches this season, Rohit has scored just 184 runs which have come at a strike rate of 126.90 with the help of just one half-century. In the last four matches his scores read 2, 3, 0, 0. Rohit’s fifty that came in a winning cause against Delhi Capitals at the start of the tournament was just his second in three seasons. While he scored one in 2021, he didn’t hit a single half century last season.
Rohit has been a firm believer in tonking it from the word go. He did that successfully in the first few matches, but lately, the approach hasn’t clicked. The reason behind Rohit’s desperation may stem from the fact that at the other end Ishan Kishan too hasn’t been quick to get off the blocks.


Cameroon Green, who opened in place of Rohit in MI’s last match against Chennai Super Kings, backed the skipper to come good. “Absolutely not. A legend that Rohit is, especially with Mumbai and everything that he has done in his career, we back him. He could come back into form any time. So far he has batted beautifully in a few games, showing really good tempo at the top, so we are absolutely backing him,” said the Australian on the eve of the match which saw both the teams sweating it out in the nets for close to three hours.
On the other side of the spectrum is Kohli, who is enjoying his best IPL season in a long time in terms of runs under his belt, having scored 419 runs in 10 matches with the help of six half-centuries. But the strike-rate of 135. 16 has been questioned.

IPL 2023 Thrilling Encounter: A preview to Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Among the nine openers who have scored 300-plus runs this season, Virat Kohli sits in second last position when it comes to strike rate. The list is topped by Rajasthan Royals’ young gun Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has brought up his runs at a strike rate of 160.60.
Second on the list is RCB skipper Faf du Plessis, who is the top-scorer in the IPL this season with 511 runs and has a strike rate of 157. 71. But Du Plessis also changed his approach going into the season and took a conscious decision to bat at a higher tempo.

MI vs RCB IPL 2023: Rohit Sharma’s form in focus as Mumbai take on Bangalore

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“In the past, I always felt like I had a decent attacking game but I felt like there was another gear in terms of taking your strike rate from 130 to 150 at least and then sometimes 160-170 so, I have worked on that a lot. But it is also important for me to try and play as much cricket as possible just to try and stay on top of my game,” Du Plessis revealed in the RCB Bold Diaries.
But like Rohit, Kohli also finds himself in a Catch 22 situation – whether to keep hitting or farm the strike after an initial burst, as barring him, Du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell, the rest of the RCB batters have struggled. Mahipal Lomror‘s fifty in the last match was a first by an RCB batter, other than the top three.

Watch IPL 2023: MI take on RCB at Wankhede

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MI vs RR IPL 2023: Tim David steals Yashasvi Jaiswal’s thunder as Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals


MUMBAI: Yashasvi Jaiswal’s maiden IPL hundred against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night must rate amongst the best centuries in the IPL. That it came in the 1000th IPL match couldn’t have been more apt. However, it took just three balls of magic from Tim David to turn it into a vain effort in a losing cause.

Jaiswal blazed away to a sensational century (124, 62b, 8×6, 16×4), taking the Rajasthan Royals to 212 for 7 against MI after the visitors decided to take first strike. However, needing 17 off the final over, MI were taken over the line in thrilling style by David, who smashed Jason Holder for three consecutive sixes off the first three balls to seal the chase.


The course of the match seemed to have swung RR’s away when, in the 16th over, Sandeep Sharma, running backwards for about 19 metres from short fine leg, grabbed a stunning catch to send back Suryakumar Yadav (55, 29b, 8×4, 2×6) after he top-edged a hook off Trent Boult.
However, Tim David (45 not out, 14b, 2×4, 5×6) and Tilak Varma (29 not out, 21b, 3×4, 1×6) added 62 in just 23 balls for the fifth wicket to pull off a pulsating six-wicket win for MI.

Celebrating his 36th birthday, India and MI skipper Rohit Sharma was castled by Sandeep Sharma for just three in the second over of the chase. However, fired by World No1 T20I batsman Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounder Cameron Green (44, 26b, 4×4, 2×6), MI were kept in the hunt.
The night belonged to Jaiswal though. His knock is a signal to the national selectors who will find it difficult to ignore him when the Indian team is picked for the West Indies tour in July.


Playing his fourth IPL, the phenomenally talented youngster is finally coming into his own. Fittingly, his first IPL hundred, which took him just 53 balls, came at the Wankhede, where the left-handed opener has played all his cricket since his school days.
The impact of the youngster’s sensational effort can be gauged from the fact that RR’s next-highest contributor in their innings was ‘Mr. Extras’ with 25. No other batsman crossed even 20 and it looked as if Jaiswal was batting on a different wicket than his teammates.
If the visitors put up 212 for 7 after deciding to bat first, it was purely due to Jaiswal’s marauding blade. In a poignant moment at the innings break, Jaiswal was presented the ‘Orange Cap’ for being the highest run-getter in IPL 2023 at this point.


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RCB vs LSG IPL 2023: Royal Challenges Bangalore need to get their act together

BENGALURU: After the euphoria of starting their campaign with a resounding win at home, Royal Challengers Bangalore were handed an 81-run pasting by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Last week’s contest at the Eden Garden witnessed Faf du Plessis and his men’s familiar woes returning to haunt them. The all-too-familiar death-overs bowling, fielders fumbling at crucial junctures and the middle order woes did the team in.
Back in the comfort of their home ground — the M Chinnaswamy Stadium — RCB will look to regroup as they play their next three matches at the venue. Lucknow Super Giants are first up on Monday night.

While RCB’s top-order batting, led by Du Plessis and Virat Kohli, has matched reputation with form, the middle order looks brittle. Dinesh Karthik is yet to warm up, while the Indian domestic batters were far from impressive against KKR.
With Rajat Patidar, their find of last season ruled out due to injury, the onus will be on players like Shahbaz Ahmed and Anuj Rawat to hold fort.
With the new ball, the pacers, led by Mohammad Siraj, have been effective, but in the death overs, they have the tendency to spray the ball and it’s imperative that they tighten the lines.


Spin duo Michael Bracewell and Karn Sharma will be vital for the Bengaluru franchise.
Lucknow, on the other hand, are coming into the match on the back of a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad and will hope for skipper KL Rahul to lead his team to victory in his backyard.


Another local player in the mix is K Gowtham. RCB will be wary of the big-hitting Lucknow line-up, especially at the compact park. Lucknow bat deep and their middle order, which includes Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran and Krunal Pandya, are match winners.
Lucknow are yet to win a match against RCB, but the teams have played each other only twice.

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GT vs KKR IPL 2023: Had belief I could do it, says KKR match-winner Rinku Singh | Cricket News


AHMEDABAD: Man of the moment Rinku Singh has credited his captain Nitish Rana for trusting him and urging him to bat till the end irrespective of the result of the match.

The 25-year-old from Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh blasted 48 off 21 balls to see Kolkata Knight Riders home with a three-wicket win against defending champions Gujarat Titans on Sunday. The win has propelled KKR to second in the table with four points after three matches.
“I had the belief that I could do this. Rana bhai said to keep belief and to bat till the end, then we will see what happens,” said Singh who has played for Uttar Pradesh across all age-groups.About the last over, Singh said, “I was just trying to hit sixes. (Umesh) Bhaiya was asking me not to think much and just play the ball. I was just reacting to the ball. It kept coming out of the middle. I had belief and it came off in the end.”

Another player who made an instant impact with his aggressive innings, Venkatesh Iyer, too singled out Singh for praise.


IPL 2023: Rinku Singh hits 5 sixes off last 5 balls in stunning win for KKR

“This match is going to be remembered for the Lord Rinku show. Obviously, everyone ruled us out with two overs remaining. But, to come back from there and win is something that I know won’t happen everyday.
“But, we are going to cherish this game for a very long time,” said Iyer.

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GT vs KKR IPL 2023: Can Kolkata Knight Riders halt Gujarat Titans’ march?

Kolkata batters will look to fire in unison to break Gujarat’s winning spree
AHMEDABAD: Kolkata Knight Riders’ morale-boosting, emphatic 81-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens has set up an enticing clash against the formidable Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Allrounder Shardul Thakur‘s heroics and the superb show of the three spinners came at the right moment for KKR, reeling under the exit of Shreyas Iyer. It has given new captain Nitish Rana, who is himself struggling for runs, some much-needed breathing space as teams look for a head start early into the 16th season of the IPL.
The three spinners – Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and newcomer Suyash Sharma – didn’t allow the Bangalore batters to flex their muscles and spun a web around them to take a combined haul of nine wickets. How they go about their business against the likes of Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, David Miller and Co. could go a long way in deciding the outcome on Sunday.IPL 2023: High-flying Gujarat Titans take on Kolkata Knight RidersThe Titans have, more or less, all their bases covered but have not been asked to defend a total yet. Whether the Knight Riders go in with the three spinners is a decision that will be taken on match day, confirmed their bowling coach Bharat Arun.

“We will be taking a good look at the wicket and the ‘Impact Player’ rule in place gives us a lot of options. It is exciting to go with three mystery spinners. It is going to be a very dynamic decision, and we will take it on the go,” said Arun. Titans’ Miller said that they have been preparing to tackle the mystery spinners of KKR.

“KKR have a strong team, some very good mystery bowlers. We have been doing everything that we can over the last day or two to counter that,” he said. Three former Titans players – Lockie Ferguson, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Jason Roy (though he opted out of IPL last season) – are now part of the KKR squad, which will add an intrigue to this clash, which was won by the Titans last season.

KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer, and the middle-order batters Mandeep Singh and Rana have not really sparkled with their batting and will have their task cut out against a formidable Titans attack. Backing Rana amid his struggles, Arun said: “Rana is young, has a very good cricketing acumen and that’s the reason we chose him as captain. We are confident he will be doing well for us.”

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MI vs CSK Highlights: Ajinkya Rahane blitz, spinners help Chennai Super Kings crush Mumbai Indians


NEW DELHI: Local boy Ajinkya Rahane dazzled with a fiery 27-ball 61 after an impressive spin show as Chennai Super Kings handed Mumbai Indians an embarrassing 7-wicket defeat at the Wankhede Stadium in Match 12 of the Indian Premier League.
Rahane smoked the fastest fifty of the season (19 balls) as Chennai made light work of the 158 chase, completing the task with 11 balls to spare. The win was CSK second while MI faced their second consecutive defeat.
Chennai’s impressive win was set up by spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner, who shared 5 wickets between them to restrict the home team to a par 157 for 8.
Mumbai got off to a fast start after MS Dhoni opted to bowl first but then Jadeja and Santner spun the web around the hosts batters, choking them for runs with regular wickets.
In the chase, CSK lost Devon Conway (0) in the very first over but Rahane carnage decisively swung the match in Chennai’s favour. In-form Ruturaj Gaikwad (40*) played the supporting role to perfection while Ambati Rayudu (20 not out) wrapped up the game with a flurry of boundaries.
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