Published on: May 23, 2023
Noted commentator Harsha Bhogle has described the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as a battle between the master (MS Dhoni) and the apprentice (Hardik Pandya). Chennai Super Kings will take on Gujarat Titans in the first Qualifier of IPL 2023 at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday, May 23.
While Gujarat Titans topped the league stage with 20 points from 14 games, Chennai Super Kings were second with 17 points. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) will take on Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Eliminator at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, May 24.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Bhogle said while previewing Qualifier 1, “It will be the master versus the apprentice. I was a little worried by the Hardik Pandya situation as he didn’t bat or bowl against RCB. But he needs to bowl, because when he is bowling with the new ball alongside Mohammed Shami, he is very good when he gets the ball moving. So, I would like to see that.”
Bhogle opined that while the Chepauk track will favor CSK, GT know how to work their way around a low-scoring game themselves. He also suggested that Hardik Pandya and co. could use off-spinner Jayant Yadav as an Impact Player. He commented, “This will be a track that favors Chennai. It depends on how Gujarat Titans can use that situation. But remember that GT are not bad playing a 150-160 game.
“GT can also use Jayant Yadav as an Impact Player. If Hardik could bowl, they can get in Jayant Yadav instead of Yash Dayal if it is that kind of track because they will have that extra pacer. I just hope his back is fine,” Bhogle continued.
Concluding his thoughts, the commentator said that if GT get early wickets, CSK could be in trouble since their openers have done the bulk of the scoring. Bhogle commented, “Conway and Gaikwad are so low key. They’ve played fantastic cricket. But get into them early, get Rahane out early, get Dube thinking. Get the wickets early, that will be GT’s chance against CSK.
While Chennai Super Kings will be looking to confirm a place in the IPL final for the 10th time, Gujarat Titans will be aiming to reach their second final in a row, a year after lifting the trophy on debut.
--By A Cricket Correspondent