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IPL 2023 Final, CSK vs GT: 'Old Man' versus a 'Pretender' - Gill gets ready to spoil Dhoni's farewell party

IPL 2023 Final: Chennai Super Kings is all set to take on Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The grand finale will be a battle between MS Dhoni and Shubman Gill, and it will be interesting to see if the latter spoils the former's speculated farewell party.

IPL 2023 Final CSK vs GT Chennai Super Kings versus Gujarat Titans preview Shubman Gill MS Dhoni location venue date time where to watch live streaming-ayh
First Published May 27, 2023, 2:13 PM IST

Mahendra Singh Dhoni wouldn't mind a 'Farewell to Remember', but a young Shubman Gill, oozing grace, would do everything under his control to prevent four-time former winner Chennai Super Kings (CSK) from beating defending champion Gujarat Titans (GT) to its fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Nearly 19 summers back when a young Dhoni was making his first strides in India blue, a four-year-old Gill was taking stance on a vast farmland in Punjab's Fazilka village on the Pakistan border, with a handmade customised bat, prepared by his doting grandfather. On Sunday, at the 1,32,000 seater Narendra Modi Stadium, the soon-to-be 42 Dhoni will have one last assignment in his favourite Canary Yellow jersey -- to stop Indian cricket's megastar-in-waiting and do a 'High Five'.

Three hundred and 851 runs don't happen in every season, but on a batting belter at the Motera, what will be Dhoni's strategy to rein in the 'Mohali Marauder'? Will it be Deepak Chahar's swing or Ravindra Jadeja's wicket-to-wicket bowling? Or will it be Moeen Ali, who could be the 'Joker in the Pack' with his enticing flighted deliveries outside the off-stump which could sharply break back? Can Matheesha Pathirana bowl some incisive toe-crushers?


A technically near-perfect batter against a captain known for thinking out of the box. It can't get more exciting than this. His die-hard fans might expect him to come back again next year but even Dhoni, who has played the entire season with a heavily strapped left knee might find it extremely difficult to keep up with the demands of the shortest format.

So, for every 'Thala' (elder brother in Tamil) fan, it's all about savouring the Dhoni moments till it lasts. In this CSK set-up, he could afford to bat at No. 8 in most games but entering the finals with a bowling line-up that missed Deepak Chahar for the better part of the first half and had to turn a profligate Tushar Deshpande into a dependable wicket-taker.

Turning an inconsistent Shivam Dube into a six-hitting bully or overseeing the return of Ravindra Jadeja, the Twenty20 (T20) bowler, the legend of Dhoni will never cease to exist. It will only grow and his captaincy stories will also be burnished with coats of myth decades down the line. They say familiarity breeds contempt but contempt would be the last word in Dhoni and CSK's mind when they face Hardik Padya's Titans.

ALSO READ: IPL 2023 - Here's how cricketing legends hailed Shubman Gill's 3rd tournament century

The CSK logo features a "Roaring Lion", but they would take the team from Land of Gir Forest lightly at their peril. After 73 games, the two of the most consistent teams are pitted against each other in the summit clash. No team has emulated the structural and team-building ethos of CSK as minutely as GT, another team, where cricketing decisions are based on sound logic, consistency and no interference from overbearing owners.

There is a skipper in Pandya, who believes that there is only one way to lead the team. It's called 'The Mahi Way'. Batters win matches, but bowlers win tournaments is an old saying and it couldn't be more apt when one tracks Titans' performance. Mohammed Shami (28 wickets), Rashid Khan (27 wickets) and Mohit Sharma (24 wickets) have executed plans more often than not. Thus, it hasn't affected the Titans that the second-highest run-scorer after Gill's 851 runs is skipper Hardik Pandya (325), who is more than 500 runs behind.

Wriddhiman Saha, a keeper-par-excellence, would consider himself lucky, that team management never thought of replacing him despite a strike rate of 127 opening the batting and only one 50-plus score in 16 knocks. And herein, Dhoni would try to seize the opportunity. If it can get Gill out early, none of the other batters has shown the wherewithal to fight hard and bowlers would need a decent total on board.

ALSO READ: IPL 2023 - After Shubamn Gill's 3 hundred light event up, Vijay Shankar reveals his work ethics

Under Dhoni, if players like Ajinkya Rahane (299 runs in 13 matches, two fifties) and Shivam Dube have found their groove this season, youngsters bowlers such as Sri Lanka's Matheesha Pathirana (17 wickets in 15 matches) and India's uncapped Tushar Deshpande (21 wickets in 15 matches) have also been able to find their feet at the IPL stage.

In CSK's batting line-up, Devon Conway (625 runs in 15 matches, six fifties) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (564 runs in 15 matches, four fifties) have time and again provided CSK with resolute starts at the top. The big-hitting Dube (386 runs in 15 matches, three fifties) is the second joint-highest six-hitter for CSK in this IPL with 33 sixes, joined by Gill in the list. There are no clear favourites and it could be one of the finest finals in the history of IPL.

Hardik Pandya (c), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, R Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Dasun Shanaka, Odean Smith, KS Bharat (wk), Shivam Mavi, Urvil Patel, Joshua Little and Mohit Sharma.
CSK: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c & wk), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Sisanda Magala, Shivam Dube, Dwaine Pretorius, Ajay Mandal, Nishant Sindhu, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Simarjeet Singh, Matheesha Pathirana, Mahesh Theekshana, Bhagath Verma, Prashant Solanki, Shaikh Rasheed and Tushar Deshpande.

Match details
Date and day:
May 28, 2023 (Sunday)
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and other Star Sports regional language channels - Also available in HD
Where to watch (Online): JioCinema

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