Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming opened up about the plans they have to dismiss Gujarat Titans (GT) opener Shubman Gill early in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. He said that they need to get early breakthroughs and then the opposition will be under pressure.
Chennai Super Kings will clash with Gujarat Titans in the final of the IPL 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday (28th May). With the way the MS Dhoni-led side has played in the tournament, it’s fair to say that they are the favorites to win the game.
But GT’s superstar Shubman Gill stands in their way to their 5th IPL title. The opening batter has been in the red hot form in the league and has been smashing runs for fun. In the last 12 days, he has smashed three tons and has single-handedly knocked Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians out of the IPL.
Shubman Gill was at his rampaging best in Qualifier 2 against Mumbai Indians. He made a mockery of the bowlers and smashed them all over the park. He ended with the knock of 129 runs and helped his side win. He is currently the leading run-getter in the tournament with over 850 runs and if he bats anywhere close to how he batted against MI, GT surely will bag their second consecutive title.
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)
Stephen Fleming admitted that Shubman Gill is batting staggeringly well but it doesn’t change things for them as they will do what they did throughout the tournament. He added that they are looking to take early wickets and put the opposition under pressure. Speaking to reporters, he said:
“He’s playing well. It doesn’t change. You hope that you pick him up early. You hope there’s enough firepower to create an opportunity, be good enough to take it. I guess the only thing we’re looking at is when you got openers or openers in such good form, an opportunity to get into the middle order. So if we can get a couple of early breakthroughs, then we saw in the last game we played, there’s an opportunity to create some pressure. But we got to get past him.”
CSK vs GT: “Devon and Rutu have been going nicely,” says Stephen Fleming
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway will be key for CSK’s chances in the final. The duo has been great as opening partners and has piled up the most runs by the opening pair this year.
While the Indian opener has smashed 564 runs, the Kiwi batter has 625 runs and if they click well, the team will be in a very strong position. But apart from their openers, one player that has been their MVP with the bat is lanky left-hander Shivam Dube. He has literally toiled with the bowling lineups.
Fleming highlighted the importance of opening partnerships but feels that their middle order will be key in the big game like the final against GT. He explained:
“I think if you look back in time, there’s about 70% of runs scored by the top three of the successful sides. Certainly, during our time, Faf (du Plessis) and Rutu (Gaikwad) were neck and neck for Orange Cap. Devon and Rutu have been going nicely. Gill has probably dominated more than Saha, but they’ve still been a good combination.
“We’ve got experience below that, which is important. So we’ve shifted the order a lot and we’ve used an impact player in (Shivam) Dube and we’ve been able to get our middle-order players in at some key times. It hasn’t always been the same order and it’s very much based on how we go at the top. I’ve had days where Devon and Rutu went early and we’ve still played okay.”
CSK and GT faced each other in Qualifier 1 of the IPL 2023 as well. It saw the MS Dhoni-led side thumping the opposition in Chennai. But this time the match will be played in Ahmedabad, which is a fortress for Shubman Gill. It remains to be seen what the young batter does tomorrow in a big game.