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IPL 2023, GT v CSK: Hosts register 5-wicket victory in season opener; Gujarat-3, Chennai-0

IPL 2023, Gujarat Titans (GT) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Top Performances: Ruturaj Gaikwad's 92, Shubman Gill's 63 and Rashid Khan's 2-26 are top performances. Gujarat Titans (GT) win 3rd game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), register 5-wicket victory in season Opener.

IPL 2023, CSK vs GT, Top Performances_ Shubman Gill scored 63 off 36 against CSK in opening game _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Gill scored 63 off 36 against CSK in opening game (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Brief Scores: CSK 178-7 (Ruturaj 92, Moeen 23, Rashid 2-26) lost to GT 182-5 (Gill 63, Shankar 27, Hangargekar 3-36) by 5 wickets

Player of the Match: Rashid Khan (2-26 & 10*)

Kemcho Amdavad, the 16th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off on Friday at the Narendra Modi Stadium between the four-times IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT). The new edition commenced with some new rules such as the Impact Player rule, DRS for no balls and wide balls and team declaration post toss.

Sending Shivam Dube ahead of Jadeja proves fatal for CSK

CSK’s firepower in the batting department was on show with full force. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill were the two best batters on the field in the opening game.

CSK’s decision making was surprisingly off the cards with Shivam Dube batting above Ravindra Jadeja, and Tushar Deshpande as the impact player. Dube ate up many deliveries (19 off 18) and CSK fell well short of a hefty total after Gaikwad provided them the impetus in the beginning.

Gujarat do well to restrict Chennai to 178

Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to field first on this fresh wicket.

In the previous season, CSK batters were flagged for not showing intent and they began the season with a bang! Positive intent from the very first over lead by Ruturaj Gaikwad who was timing the ball as sweet as the famous Gujarati jalebi. Ruturaj continued on his form from the domestic tournaments and absolutely belted every bowler that came onto bowl. While the rest of the CSK batters kept hitting every other ball as if there is no tomorrow, which is going to be the template of CSK in 2023 given the firepower they have after years! Though CSK lost wickets, the scoreboard kept ticking, reason? The positive intent.

Devon Conway, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, all played little cameos but ensured they scored more than a run a ball. CSK were scoring aggressively at over 9 runs per over and were 93-3 at the end of 10 overs. After Ambati Rayudu was dismissed, CSK probably made the first mistake of the match sending in Shivam Dube ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dube struggle against the short ball and was vividly exposed by GT bowlers. Dube’s slow innings put pressure on the free flowing Ruturaj who eventually ended up throwing his wicket on a waist-high full toss.

If CSK’s approach was positive, GT’s approach was ultra-positive. GT batters were loaded with ammo and they unleashed that on the first-ever impact player in the history of IPL – Tushar Deshpande. Gill and Wriddhiman Saha smacked the impact player for a 15-run over shifting the momentum into GT’s favour right in the powerplay. GT batters cut loose after that and Gill was the flagbearer for the destruction. Much like CSK innings, GT batters also lost wickets at crucial moments but Gill stood tall just like Ruturaj and ensured the game was very much in the balance.

After 10 overs, GT were at 93-2, the exact score CSK were at but at the cost of fewer wickets. Gill was dismissed in the 15th over by the impact player, Tushar, but not before the damage was done already. With some crucial wickets by youngster Rajvardhan Hangargekar, it looked like CSK were back in the game, until Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia sprinkled the finishing flavour finishing the game in GT’s favour and making it 3-0 against CSK.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between GT and CSK in IPL 2023.

IPL 2023, CSK vs GT, Top Performances_ Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 92 in opening game of IPL 2023 _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Gaikwad scored 92 off 50 in opening game of IPL 2023 (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Rutu”RAJ”ed at the Narendra Modi Stadium with a blistering 50-ball 92

IPL has been known to have slambang opening batters in the opening match, be it Brendon McCullum in the inaugural season or Ruturaj Gaikwad in the 16th season. The timing was impeccable from Ruturaj. T20 format is a game of power they say, but probably “timing” is silent there. And the silent assassin of CSK was timing the ball so sweetly that the sound was echoing all over India.

Taking on every bowler on the park, be it Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Joshua Little or Rashid Khan, it didn’t matter for Ruturaj. In a blink of an eye, Gaikwad raised the bat towards the pavilion as he brought up his fifty in just 23 deliveries with a six! Ruturaj was looking well set to breach the century mark in the opening game, however, a slow innings by Shivam Dube put pressure on the opener and it resulted in him throwing his wicket away for 92 off a touch and go waist high full toss. The decision was reviewed but to everything that went Gaikwad’s way, this didn’t and he was dismissed finally. The first fifty of IPL 2023 went to Ruturaj Gaikwad and the form he is in, definitively a 500-run tournament looks on the cards.

Shub’MAN’handled CSK with classy approach

If Ruturaj timed the ball impeccably, Shubman Gill was flawless throughout. An innings filled with immense timing and crisp backfoot punches sending CSK bowlers back to the yellow corner. Gill started off quite slow with just nine runs off eight deliveries, however, as soon as Deshpande the impact player stepped in, Gill clobbered the bowler all around the park. A high back lift and crisp shots of the back foot is what Gill is all made up of and everything of that standard was visible on the ground.

A tremendous innings filled with the most accurate timing was brought to an end by Tushar Deshpande where Gill faltered giving up an easy catch to Ruturaj Gaikwad at deep midwicket bringing an end to his superb 63 runs innings off just 36 deliveries.

IPL 2023, CSK vs GT, Top Performances_  Rashid Khan took 2-26 against CSK in first game of IPL 2023 _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Rashid Khan gets player of the match for his 2-26 (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Rashid Khan, the all-rounder: The real ‘Impact’ Player

When CSK were going all guns blazing inside the powerplay, GT captain Hardik Pandya introduced Rashid Khan in the sixth over in search of a wicket. Rashid didn’t disappoint either as he dismissed not only Moeen Ali, but also Ben Stokes in consecutive overs derailing the bullet train of CSK. The momentum shifted there on in GT’s favour all thanks to the economic four over and two crucial wickets spell by Rashid Khan.

If Rashid wasn’t done yet with the ball, he came back with the bat and smacked a cameo three-ball 10* when it was needed the most for GT and shifted the balance into GT’s side.

Points Table Scenario & What's Next

The defending champions started the campaign with a win and top the table with a +0.514 NRR. IPL 2023 will quickly move into a double-header weekend with four games in two days. Punjab Kings will play Kolkata Knight Riders at Mohali on April 1 in the first game of the day.

IPL 2023 Teams Standing

IPL 2023 Teams Standing, IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table

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