Gujarat Titans
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Last Update on: March 29th, 2023 at 12:00 pm

The Gujarat Titans will take on the Chennai Super Kings in the first match of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday, March 31. Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that the Gujarat Titans have a good squad but that it will be tough for them to retain the trophy.

The Ahmedabad-based franchise joined the IPL in the last edition along with another new franchise, the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya was named captain of the franchise. The Titans won their first trophy in their maiden season by beating the Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in the final match of the IPL 2022.

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On the “AakashVani” show on JioCinema, Aakash Chopra said that he won’t be surprised if the Gujarat Titans fail to reach the playoffs in the upcoming season.

“I don’t see them lifting the trophy again because it happens very rarely. Teams have been able to do it only twice. This team is good but can it replicate Mumbai and Chennai’s record – I am not 100% certain. But they have the team that can reach the playoffs, but I won’t be terribly surprised if they don’t reach the playoffs,” Aakash Chopra said.

CSK and Mumbai Indians (MI) are the only two sides to have won back-to-back title trophies in the history of the IPL, with CSK winning in 2010 and 2011 and Mumbai Indians in 2019 and 2020.

IPL 2023 | India National Cricket Team | Chennai Super Kings (CSK) | Delhi Capitals (DC) | Gujarat Titans (GT) | Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) | Lucknow Supergiants (LSG) | Mumbai Indians (MI) | Punjab Kings (PBKS) | Rajasthan Royals (RR) | Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) | SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH)

They Do Not Have That Much Strike Power – Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra said that the batting is the main concern for the Gujarat Titans heading into the tournament, as they don’t have many power hitters in their lineup.

“If this team has a concern, it comes from the batting. Among the batters, they have Kane Williamson, Shubman Gill, David Miller, Sai Sudarshan, Abhinav Manohar, Hardik Pandya – you can keep him both as batter and bowler, Rahul Tewatia and Vijay Shankar – both of them can be kept in the all-rounder’s category.”

“Let us add the keepers as well – Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, KS Bharat and Urvil Patel. So a lot of batters are seen but, you feel that if there is any concern, it is here only, because they do not have that much strike power.”

Also read: IPL 2023: Kolkata Knight Riders Look Like A Mid-Table Team – Aakash Chopra’s Huge Remark On KKR Ahead Of IPL

T20 Is Still Not Shubman Gill’s Strongest Suit – Aakash Chopra

Chopra highlighted David Miller and Rahul Tewatia as the Gujarat Titans’ most important players in the middle order. The 45-year-old feels that the T20 format is not Shubman Gill’s strong format.

“When Shubman Gill plays, he plays very well, he also has a T20I century to his name, but T20 is still not his strongest suit. Kane Williamson’s stars have been on the wane in the T20 format. You might see some gaps in the middle order. A lot of focus will be on David Miller and Rahul Tewatia.”

David Miller played an important role with the bat for the Titans in IPL 2022, scoring 481 runs at an impressive average of 68.71 and a strike rate of 142.72. Miller played a crucial knock against the Rajasthan Royals to help his team reach the final. Meanwhile, Tewatia scored 217 runs with a strike rate of 147.61.

Also read: IPL 2023: It’s Hard To Understand What’s Happening There – Aakash Chopra On Chennai Super Kings’ Batting Uncertainty