IPL Final 2023 | Gill prepared to spoil Dhoni’s farewell

Mahendra Singh Dhoni won’t think of a ‘Farewell to Remember’ but a young Shubman Gill, with grace, will do everything under his control to prevent Chennai Super Kings from beating Gujarat Titans for a fifth IPL title, here on Sunday.

Almost 19 summers when a young Dhoni was taking his first steps in the India blue, a four-year-old Gill stood in a vast field in Fazilka village in Punjab on the Pakistan border, with handmade customized bat, prepared by his loving grandfather. .

On Sunday, at the 132,000 seater Narendra Modi Stadium, the soon-to-be 42 Dhoni will have one last assignment in his favorite Canary Yellow jersey — to stop Indian cricket’s megastar-in-waiting and make a ‘High Five’.

Three hundreds and 851 runs don’t happen every season but with a batting belter in Motera, what will Dhoni’s strategy be to contain the ‘Mohali Marauder’?

Is it Deepak Chahar’s swing or Ravindra Jadeja’s wicket-to-wicket bowling? Or Moeen Ali, who can be the ‘Joker in the Pack’ with his eye-catching flighted deliveries outside the off-stump that can suddenly bounce back. Can Matheesha Pathirana cook up some pointy 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 may expect him to make a comeback next year but even Dhoni, who played the entire season with a severe left knee ligament may struggle to keep up with the demands of the shortest format.

So for every ‘Thala’ (elder brother in Tamil) fan, it’s all about savoring the Dhoni moments till they last. In this CSK set-up, he can bat at No. 8 in most games but going into the finals with a bowling line-up that missed Deepak Chahar for the better part of half a fistful and had to make Tushar Deshpande a rascal. reliable wicket-taker.

Turning the inconsistent Shivam Dube into a six-hit thug or overseeing the comeback of Ravindra Jadeja, the T20 bowler, the legend of Dhoni will never cease to exist. It will only grow and his captaincy stories will also heat up with layers of legend decades down the line.

They say familiarity breeds contempt but contempt will be the last word on Dhoni and CSK’s mind when they face Hardik Padya’s Titans.

CSK’s logo features a “Roaring Lion” but they will take the team from the Land of Gir Forest casually at their own peril.

After 73 games, two of the most consistent teams will face each other in the summit clash.

No team has emulated the structural and team building ethos of Chennai Super Kings as minutely as Gujarat Titans, another team, where cricketing decisions are based on sound logic, consistency and no interference from the proud who owns.

There is a captain in Pandya, who believes there is only one way to lead the team. It is called ‘The Mahi Way’.

Batters win matches but bowlers win tournaments is an old adage and it couldn’t be more apt when one follows the Titans’ performance.

Mohammed Shami (28 wickets), Rashid Khan (27 wickets) and Mohit Sharma (24 wickets) executed plans more often than not and thus did not really affect the Titans 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, considers himself lucky, that the team management did not think of replacing him despite a strike-rate of 127 in opening the batting and just one fifty plus score in 16 knocks .

And here, Dhoni will try to take advantage of the opportunity. If they get Gill early, none of the other batters have shown how to fight back much and the bowlers will need a decent total on the board.

Under Dhoni, if players like Ajinkya Rahane (299 runs in 13 matches, two fifties) and Shivam Dube have found their groove this season, young bowlers like Sri Lanka’s Matheesha Pathirana (17 wickets in 15 matches) and India’s uncapped Tushar Deshpande (21). wickets in 15 matches) have also managed to find their feet in 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 repeatedly given CSK a solid start to top

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 on the list.

There are no clear favorites and this could be one of the best finals in IPL history.


Gujarat Titans: Hardik Pandya (c), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, 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, Shivam Mavi, Urvil Patel, Joshua Little and Mohit Sharma.

Chennai Super Kings: 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 Sismar Senapatih Singh, Matheesha Pathirana , Mahesh Theekshana, Bhagath Verma, Prashant Solanki, Shaikh Rasheed, Tushar Deshpande.

Battle time

7:30 pm IST on May 28, 2023

Khalid Khan

Khalid Khan is CO-Editor for Sports section on

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