Heady contest on cards as CSK takes on GT in high-profile clash

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Both the five time winners and reigning Champions Chennai Super Kings

(CSK) and last year’s finalist Gujarat Titans (GT) are being led by new young skippers in Ruturaj

Gaikwad and Shubman Gill.

As captains, both of them would not have asked for a better start for their IPL 2024 campaign and

more importantly for their leadership qualities.

A keen contest is on the cards when the two flamboyant and fearless openers walks into the middle for the toss at the historic M.A.Chidambaram Stadium, when home favourites CSK and GT comes face to face in an all important clash on Tuesday.

Both the teams were fresh from their wins in their opening encounter. But the victrories were

quite contrast.

CSK romped home rather easily by six wickets against RCB in the tournament’s opener on

Friday last here, after Ruturaj, who was handed over the baton after iconic skipper M S Dhoni

stepped down on the eve of the contest, marshalled his bowling resources well before the

batsmen did their job.

GT, despite scoring a below par total against Mumbai Indians–also five time champions–at

Ahmedabad yesterday, on the other hand, held its nerves, to eke out a tense six run win,

with the bowlers rising to the occasion in the closing stages of a nerve-wracking contest

watched by more than 80,000 spectators.

Both the teams will take a lot of positives from the first matches. CSK will be keen

to retain the same XI for the match and would once again rely on left arm speedster

Bangladeshi import Mustafizur Rahman, who wrecked the RCB top order with four

wickets, before other bowlers played their part well.

However, the area of concern for CSK would be the performance of speedster

Tushar Deshpande, who conceded 47 runs in his four overs against RCB.

They will once again look up to their skipper and Rachin Ravindra to provide the initial

flourish with the willow, with Ajinkya Rahane, Darryl Mitchell and south paw Shivam Dube,

who has learnt the art of finishing matches, providing the much needed stability in the

batting order.

CSK has the resources to bat deep considering that all rounder Ravindra Jadeja

and the talismanic Dhoni has loads of experience and know the home conditions by

the back of their palm.

Apart from Mustafizur and Deepak Chahar, who can use his long handles well, in the

pace department, the team has good spinners like Maheesh Theekshana to play the

supporting role for Jadeja.

CSK could also try out Rachin Ravindra as one of the spin options if the need arise.

On the other hand, GT will be looking forward for an improved showing with the bat,

though the bowlers did a fantastic job.

As usual, Gill and keeper Wridhaman Saha lends solidity at the top, and the middle

order has the likes of Azmatullah Omarzai and big hitters David Miller and Rahul

Tewatia, not to underestimate local lad Sai Sudarshan, who held the innings

together against Mumbai Indians yesterday night and other Chennai cricketers

Vijay Shankar and Shahrukh Khan.

It remains to be seen whether experienced New zealander Kane Williamson will

be drafted into the playing XI to add more strength to the batting.

He will be playing in front of his home crowd tomorrow and left arm spinner

Sai Kishore in all probability will be the impact player, with the experienced

Rashid Khan expected to chip in with good performances considering that

the Chepauk pitch might aid the slow bowlers, though it had enough carry

and bounce in the last match against RCB.

If the pitch offers some assistance for the pacers, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav

and Omarzai will be fancying their chances.

Folllowing are the teams :


Ruturaj Gaikwad (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande,

Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangarkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajay Mandal, Mukesh Chaudhary,

Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Mitchell Santner, Simarjeet Singh, Nishant Sindhu,

Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Rachin Ravindra, Shardul Thakur, Daryl Mitchell,

Sameer Rizvi, Mustafizur Rahman.

GT :

Shubhman Gill (c), David Miller, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson,

Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudarshan, Darshan Nalkande, Vijay Shankar, Jayant Yadav,

Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmed, Sai Kishore, Rashid Khan, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma,

Azmatullah Omarzai, Umesh Yadav, Shahrukh Khan, Sushant Mishra, Kartik Tyagi,

Manav Suthar, Spencer Johnson, Sandeep Warrier, BR Sharath.

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