The Indian Premier League IPL 2023 final between four-time winners Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Gujarat Titans which was scheduled to be played on Sunday, will now take place on the reserved day on Monday May 29 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
“The #Final of the #TATAIPL 2023 has been moved to the reserve day on 29th May – 7:30 PM IST at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. Physical tickets for today will be valid tomorrow. We request you to keep the tickets safe & intact,” IPL tweeted.
This is the first time in IPL history that the final match clash had to be moved to a reserved day. The announcement of the postponement came as a shock to many who eagerly awaiting the final at home. Speculations surrounding the match were put to rest when the IPL made an official announcement around 11 PM.
Persistent rain had caused uncertainty about the start time for the crucial final between MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings and Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans. CSK and GT’s official Twitter handles had previously stated that no overs would be lost if the game started by 9:40 PM local time. However, if a five-over game was not possible by the cut-off time of 12:26 AM local time, the match would be pushed to the reserve day on Monday. The cut-off time for a Super Over was set at 12:56 AM.
In anticipation of the match, the ground personnel swiftly covered the middle and the run-up areas for fast bowlers with layers of sheets, half an hour before the toss time. Unfortunately, the intensity of the downpour increased, accompanied by thunder and lightning, forcing the fans who had gathered in large numbers to seek shelter in the stands.
Speaking about the finalists, the defending champions Gujarat Titans and the four-time champions Chennai Super Kings were set to face each other in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. This marked GT’s second successive final appearance and CSK’s remarkable 10th, the most by any team in the league’s history.
Hardik Pandya-led GT aimed to defend their title, which they had clinched in their debut season in 2022. On the other hand, CSK was hoping to secure their fifth title and potentially give a memorable farewell to skipper MS Dhoni, as rumors suggested that this could be his last season with the Yellow franchise.
The defending champions had the advantage of playing on their home ground. One of their standout performers this year was Shubman Gill, who had been in tremendous form at the top of the order. Gill, who currently held the Orange Cap, had amassed 851 runs in 16 matches at an average of 60.78, including three centuries and four fifties. His highest score was 129, and he maintained a strike rate of 156.43.
Gill’s wicket was highly valued by CSK, and he aimed to make a significant impact in the final and potentially surpass Virat Kohli’s record of 973 runs in a single season, set in 2016. Although the rest of the GT batters had comparatively smaller numbers, players like Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Vijay Shankar, and Sai Sudarshan were capable of contributing to a competitive total if Gill failed to deliver.
CSK had numerous positives going for them this season. Their opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway, known for their aggressive yet calculated approach, had accumulated 775 runs together, including two century and four half-century partnerships. The middle order, featuring Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube, was also in good form. While Rahane’s recent performances were promising, Ambati Rayadu’s struggle was a concern, although his ability to perform in big matches could not be overlooked.
Ravindra Jadeja emerged as a key player for CSK, making significant contributions with both bat and ball. Having won four ‘Player of the Match’ awards, he scored 175 runs and took 19 wickets throughout the season. Jadeja was expected to be CSK’s most potent weapon in the final. Additionally, the ever-reliable MS Dhoni played his role in scoring crucial runs during the death overs, leaving fans eager to witness another outstanding performance from the legendary captain.
Chennai Super Kings Squad:
MS Dhoni (Captain) (Keeper), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Nishant Sindhu, Ben Stokes, Bhagath Varma, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Devon Conway, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Kyle Jamieson, Ajay Jadav Mandal, Mukesh Choudhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Prashant Solanki and Maheesh Theekshana
Gujarat Titans Squad:
Hardik Pandya (Captain), Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Sai Sudharsan, Shubman Gill, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Shivam Mavi, Srikar Bharat, Urvil Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Alzarri Joseph, Joshua Little, Darshan Nalkande, Mohammed Shami, Noor Ahmad, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Pradeep Sangwan, Mohit Sharma, Odean Smith, Jayant Yadav and Yash Dayal