The Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings will contest the final of the 2023 Indian Premier League on Monday.
Who, when, where
Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings, 3pm BST, Monday 29 May 2023, Ahmedabad
It's the current title holders against the four-time champions. Gujarat won their first title in their first season. last year. Chennai are in pursuit of a record-equalling fifth title. Only Mumbai have more IPL titles than Chennai at the moment.
The final will be played in Ahmedabad, which has served up four 200-plus first-innings scores this season, including one earlier this week. The pitch will likely be full of runs again and the team to win the toss will likely choose to bat first.
This could effectively be a repeat of Tuesday's Qualifier 1, when the Titans and Super Kings first met in the 2023 play-offs. Both teams used only five bowlers each in that match, but this time conditions might require a sixth option - likely a spinner.
Look forward to plenty of international and local talent being showcased. It will be interesting to see if the teams go unchanged or tweak the balance. The availability of an impact player, as per tournament rules, suggests the XIs will stay the same.
Gujarat and Chennai have a brief history. They have met on four occasions. The Titans won three in a row before the Super Kings broke the streak earlier this week.
Stars to watch
The Titans have talisman Shubman Gill at the top of the order. He has been in imperious form and hit a big century against Mumbai to push Gujarat into a second successive final. If Chennai are to stand a chance, they're going to have to work particularly cleverly to get Gill out cheaply.
Bowling-wise, the Titans have fast bowler Mohammed Shami. He doesn't vary his pace much, unlike many other bowlers in the IPL, but maintains hard lines and lengths. Shami is the leading wicket-taker this IPL season with 28 in 16 matches.
Chennai would like another big showing from opener Devon Conway. The New Zealand batsman has been solid as a quick accumulator rather than an outright big-hitter. Conway could capitalise during the mandatory opening powerplay.
Tushar Deshpande has been a good find for CSK this season. He will likely open the bowling with fellow seamer Deepak Chahar. Together, they can find the kind of swing through the air and lateral movement off the seam needed to truly challenge Gill and company.
The Titans effectively took the long way around to get to the final, while Chennai should be a bit more rested having played one fewer play-off fixtures. That said, momentum counts for plenty in T20 cricket and Gujarat might have more of it than the Super Kings. Back the Titans to win a second IPL final in as many seasons.
Gujarat Titans to beat Chennai Super Kings
Shubman Gill to be top batsman for Gujarat
Tushar Deshpande to be top bowler for Chennai
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