Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Four times champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in a high-voltage clash in the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday evening.

The winner of this encounter will book their berth in the summit clash on Sunday while the losing side will play Qualifier 2 on Friday.

While GT, under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, finished as table toppers, winning 10 of their 14 matches in the league stage, MS Dhoni-lead CSK finished second. They won eight of the 14 matches they played while one match was called off due to rain. 

CSK have an impressive record in the Playoff as they have so far won 15 out of the 24 matches in the top four round. The yellow brigade will also have the advantage of playing Qualifier 1 on home turf with massive support for both Dhoni and CSK from the Chepauk crowd. However, the home team has injury worries to deal with. Captain Cool Dhoni was seen batting with heavy strapping on his knee ahead of the Playoff stage which could be a worrying factor for them.

Meanwhile, GT opener Shubman Gill is the man in form with back-to-back hundreds in the ongoing edition of the cash-rich league. Their bowlers Mohammad Shami and Rashid Khan are on top of Purple Cap table with 24 wickets each.

Head-to-head record

GT and CSK have played three matches against each other so far. Hardik Pandya-led side has won all of those matches. In their last match on March 31, CSK scored 178 and GT chased it down the total in 19.2 overs, thanks to Shubman Gill’s sublime half-century.

Pitch report

MA Chidambaram Stadium, also known as Chepauk Stadium in Chennai will provide equal opportunity for both batsmen and bowlers. The pitch will offer bounce and create favourable conditions for stroke play. It will help the batsmen to execute their shots with relative ease. Considering the nature of the pitch, teams winning the toss are expected to opt for chasing the target set by the opposition.

Weather report

Clear skies will greet both sides in Chennai on Tuesday. The temperature is expected to range between 29 and 36 degrees Celsius.

Probable XI

CSK team: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Deepak Chahar, Maheesh Theekshana, Tushar Desphande, Matheesha Pathirana.

GT team: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Dasun Shanaka, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma.