Former Indian Opener Virender Sehwag feels that Gujarat Titans Vice-captain Rashid Khan has been the trump card for the defending champions in this edition of the Indian Premier League as he has given them crucial breakthroughs in the middle overs for the team.
The defending champions’ bowlers have played a vital role in their performance in the league as Rashid Khan and Mohammad Shami have picked up 24 wickets each in the 14 games being the joint-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2023.
Speaking ahead of Qualifier 1, Virender Sehwag said that Rashid Khan has been the go-to bowler for Hardik Pandya to pick wickets in the middle overs and the leg-spinner has been one of the most successful bowlers in this season being the top-wicket taker in the league stage.
“Rashid Khan is the trump card for Gujarat. If they want wickets, they bring him. And then the way Hardik has used Rashid, it is commendable. Rashid likes to break partnerships and now he has become the most successful bowler of this season based on his excellent performance,” Virender Sehwag said.
The Afghanistan all-rounder has been one of the best T20 players in the world and has once again proved his worth in IPL 2023, with the ability to contribute to the team’s success with both bat and ball and will look to continue fine form going into the business end of the tournament.
Former Indian Cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans are almost similar in their approach in terms of strategies and tactics, as both the teams back their players to do the job and reckons that the leadership group keeps things simple in the dressing room, which is going to make the Qualifier 1 to be a mouth-watering clash.
“Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans have been very similar teams tactically. Both teams don’t look to make too many changes, and the leadership group keeps the atmosphere light in the dressing room. The battle between these two in playoffs will be interesting,” Sanjay Manjrekar said.
Gujarat Titans were the first team to qualify for the playoffs as they sealed their place in Qualifier 1 followed by the Chennai Super Kings who booked their spot in playoffs on the Penultimate day of the league stage after their thumping over Delhi Capitals in Arun Jaitley Stadium.
Gujarat Titans have won all their previous three games against the four-time champions, but the MS Dhoni-led side would come into the contest with a home advantage in their side. The all-exciting Qualifier will be played at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk on May 23.
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