Chennai Super Kings. (Photo Source: IPL)
Chennai Super Kings are just one step away from lifting their fifth IPL title as they gear up to face defending champions Gujarat Titans in the final of IPL 2023. The Yellow Army reached the final after defeating the same opposition in Qualifier 1 in Chepauk.
The Yellow Army, who faced Gujarat Titans in the opening match of the season at the same venue, will be looking to lift their fifth IPL title, joint most with Mumbai Indians, with a victory over Hardik Pandya’s men in the summit clash.
However, it will be an uphill batter for MS Dhoni’s team, who will be up against an upbeat Titans, who are a formidable outfit in their home ground in Ahmedabad.
Let’s look at Chennai Super Kings’ probable playing XI against Gujarat Titans for the final of IPL 2023
Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway
It was Chennai Super Kings’ star Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad who came to the fore in the last encounter on a sluggish surface in Chennai. While most of the other batters struggled for fluency on a tricky surface, Gaikwad smashed a brisk half-century to take his side to a competitive total. He was named the Player of the Match for his decisive batting performance.
While Gaikwad played a brisk hand from the other end, finding boundaries frequently, Devon Conway wasn’t at his best in the game against the reigning champions. The southpaw, who has been one of CSK’s most consistent batters this season, managed 40 runs during his 34-ball stay at the crease.
Middle-order: Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube
Following a couple of quick wickets after the powerplay, veteran Indian batter Ajinkya Rahane chipped in with a brisk cameo. The stylish middle-order batter, who has taken up the role of the enforcer this season, smashed 17 runs off just ten deliveries to ensure the flow of runs in the middle overs.
Much like Rahane, Ambati Rayudu also took the attack to the Gujarat bowlers with a swift 17 off just nine deliveries. While the veteran batter has not enjoyed the most prolific season with the bat this time around, he has played a couple of quickfire cameos for the Chennai-based franchise in IPL 2023.
There was no heroics from the bat of Shivam Dube in his last outing as the power-hitting Indian all-rounder was done all ends up by Noor Ahmad’s googly. He has been in sensational six-hitting form this season and will be licking his lips at the prospect of playing on a batting-friendly track in Ahmedabad.
All-rounders: Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk)
Veteran English all-rounder Moeen Ali has been used scarcely by MS Dhoni in this year’s tournament with both the ball and bat in hand. The southpaw came into bat at the fag end of the innings, chipping in with a four-ball nine runs. Meanwhile, he wasn’t used with the ball at all, despite a turning track in Chennai assisting the slower bowlers.
After the disappointment of last season, star Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been in the thick of the action in this year’s tournament. While the southpaw compiled a quickfire 22 with the bat in the first innings, the left-arm spinner spun a web around the Gujarat batters in the second innings, returning with the crucial scalps of Dasun Shanaka and David Miller.
CSK’s iconic skipper MS Dhoni failed to have the desired effect with the bat as he was duped by a slower delivery from his former teammate Mohit Sharma for a solitary run to his name. However, he was at the heart of Gujarat’s demise in the second innings, orchestrating a couple of dismissals with his razor-sharp changes in the field.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana
Star Indian pacer Deepak Chahar is having a memorable second half of the season after a few disappointing performances earlier in the campaign. The canny pacer was up to his usual tricks in the powerplay and drew first blood for his side with the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha. His second wicket in the match was of the well-set Shubman Gill, who has been in red-hot form this season.
Young Indian pacer Tushar Deshpande is having a season to remember in the 16th edition of the IPL. While the pacer was on the spot with his line and length in the powerplay, his figures took a beating in the latter stages of the innings after Rashid Khan took a liking to the Indian pacer. However, Tushar had the last laugh in the contest after dismissing the Afghan star.
For a second successive game, Maheesh Theekshana helped his side put a stranglehold on the opposition in the middle overs. While he was miserly with his deceptive bowling, he scalped the big wicket of Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya to put pressure on the defending champions. He pretty much ensured CSK’s place in the final after making light work of the dangerous Rahul Tewatia.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Probable Playing XI:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Probable Impact Players:
Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Akash Singh, Prashant Solanki, Rajvardhan Hangargekar