The first qualifier of IPL 2023 will be played between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata this evening. GT won 10 matches out of 14. The team finished first in the points table with +0.316. RR won 9 matches out of 14 and finished second in the points table with a run rate of +0.298.
The team of Gujarat lost their last match to Royal Challengers, while Rajasthan will go to play the qualifiers after defeating Chennai.
GT vs RR: Match Preview
Hardik expects Gujarat to perform all-round
After reaching the playoffs, Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bat in a few matches to try his hand at preparation. However, the team could not win those matches.
In such a situation, if Gujarat has to bat first during the playoffs, then the situation can be difficult for them. The batsmen of Gujarat are unable to hang so many runs on the board, as many runs are defended by the bowlers while bowling in the second innings.
Hardik's form is also not looking that much better in the second phase of the season. If Gujarat has to play the final in the first season, then Hardik Pandya's performance will be imperative.
The trio of Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, and Matthew Wade will also have to show the talent of the bat. Rashid Khan and Lockie Ferguson can bowl brilliantly in front of the legendary batsmen. However, Shubman Gill's return to form is definitely good news for the team.
Rajasthan team is showing balance
Rajasthan Royals is looking for a strong team for the first time after season one. He has surprised all the opposing teams with his game. His strategy of sending R Ashwin to beat the first town was constantly questioned. However, the management stood by his decision. As a result, Ashwin gave his team victory by scoring an unbeaten 40 off 23 balls against Chennai Super Kings.
Suffice it to say that Rajasthan's batting order is looking strong. Jos Buttler has not been able to perform like the first part in Phase Two of the season. However, he can play big innings in big matches.
Captain Sanju Samson was not selected for India vs South Africa T20I series. In such a situation, he can answer the selectors with a great performance.
Probable GT XI: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shubman Gill, Matthew Wade/Alzarri Joseph, Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Lockie Ferguson, Yash Dayal, Mohammed Shami
Probable RR XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Obed McCoy