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Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians vie to add one more IPL trophy to their collection

The Telegraph looks back at the highs and lows

Rajdeep Kumar Roy (t2 Intern) | Published 26.05.23, 09:37 AM
Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings

After a tremendous and exciting seven weeks, the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket tournament found its final four teams to compete in the playoffs, eliminating the other six that started the tournament. Of those — Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Gujarat Titans (GT), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) — the last has already lost the eliminator match and is now out of the running.

Chennai Super Kings are through to the finals on Sunday and will play against either Gujarat Titans or Mumbai Indians, who face off against each other this evening in the second qualifying match. So there are just two matches between the eventual winner and the trophy as it stands.


But it has been quite thrilling. Virtually every match could have gone either way down to the last moment. Also, many uncapped Indian and young foreign players like Rinku Singh and Suyash Sharma of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Yashasvi Jaiswal of Rajasthan Royals (RR), Tilak Verma and Nehal Wadhera of MI, Matheesha Pathirana of CSK, Noor Ahmad of GT, Ayush Badoni of LSG and many more have set themselves up nicely and it looks as if the future of cricket is in good hands.

For the first time in the history of IPL, none of the 10 teams were eliminated till the last five games and things had gone down to the last match of the league stage to get the final four teams to qualify for the playoffs. GT again ended with 20 points like last season, CSK and LSG 17 points each, and MI 16 points. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) picked up 14 points each, while KKR and Punjab Kings (PBKS) ended on 12 points each, Sunrisers Hyderabad 10 points and Delhi Capitals (DC) brought up the rear with 8 points each.

So much competition was witnessed and at least 10 matches went up to 200-plus scores and targets, and 200-plus runs were chased down. At the other end of the scoring spectrum, low tallies were defended well enough by the bowlers.

Now, we await the last of the playoff stage matches that is to be played this evening at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, which will also host the finals on Sunday, May 28. This edition of the IPL might be coming to a close in a couple of days, but there has been much excitement over the preceding two months. Here is a look at the frontrunners and the things that made Tata IPL 2023 memorable for us.

Gujarat Titans

Gujarat Titans


There were many rising capped and uncapped players who have done tremendously well, but some stalwarts of the game have failed to showcase their skills throughout the tournament.

Among Indian players, the likes of India and MI captain Rohit Sharma have been in and out of form throughout the tournament, while Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav got injured. Shardul played 11 of the 14 matches for KKR and Umesh just played eight.

Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj showcased their amazing skill with the ball, with Shami taking 26 wickets for GT and Siraj 19 for RCB. Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill proved to be prolific run machines, totting up 639 and 722, respectively.

The spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel had been really good with the ball as well as with the bat and that was really good to see. Jadeja took 19 wickets and scored 153 runs for CSK, Axar took 11 wickets and scored 283 runs for Delhi Capitals, whereas Ashwin took 14 wickets and scored 67 runs for Rajasthan Royals. As these players usually play lower down the order, though were promoted in the batting order, they were not able to cope with the pressure consistently.


Gujarat Titans: Defending champions and the team with the highest points, they were just unstoppable. They have shown once again why they are the champions. Under Hardik Pandya’s leadership, they were the first to qualify for the playoffs. They had a very good season and were a total package even though they might not have too many star players. Out of their 14 matches they just lost four, the same as last year.

Skipper Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, B. Sai Sudarshan, Wriddhiman Saha, Joshua Little, Noor Ahmad, Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal had just been at their best. Gill scored two centuries and four half-centuries.

Their only setback was Kane Williamson’s ankle injury in the tournament’s first match against CSK, while trying to save six crucial runs for the team.

Chennai Super Kings: This is one of the most consistent teams in the tournament and is known for its comebacks. They are always perfectly balanced and on a rare occasion fail to capitalise on it. It has had Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain since IPL started in 2008. Under him, CSK has won the IPL four times and made it to 10 finals. A feature of this IPL was that if CSK was playing, at home or away, the stands would be filled with yellow because of MSD, who was his usual competitive self despite nursing a knee injury throughout the tournament.

Players like Shivam Dubey, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Deepak Chahar, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Raydu and Ajinkya Rahane delivered when needed. Young guns like Matheesha Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Sisanda Magala and Tushar Deshpande played with their heart and soul. Ben Stokes, however, could not play many games due to injury. Nonetheless, it was pretty smooth sailing all the way to the finals.

Mumbai Indians: Even though MI made it to the playoffs after a shaky start, senior players like skipper Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jofra Archer and their biggest purchase of the season Cameron Green were failing, while ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah was out of the tournament due to back injury.

But the young promising talents like Tilak Verma, Nehal Wadhera, Akash Madhwal, Kumar Kartikeya, Arjun Tendulkar, Arshad Khan, Vishnu Vinod, Duan Jansen, Raghav Goyal and Hrithik Shokeen took them through to safety with their determination and enthusiasm. The seniors regained form in time while spinner Piyush Chawla continued to take wickets throughout the season. Skipper Rohit Sharma also delivered with the bat whenever it was crucial. Surya Kumar Yadav and Cameron Green scored their first centuries during this IPL season, ending with tallies of 511 and 381 runs respectively. Ishan Kishan scored 454 runs with three half-centuries.

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians


This rule has changed the ideology of playing a game not only with just XI players but also a 12th player as a substitute who can be brought in at any point of time in the match, which is really quite a game changer. This was initially used during early-2000s, and later used in the Big Bash League, but was soon stopped.

In the IPL, it allowed teams to add either a batsman or a bowler and the outcome of this had been really beneficial for most of the teams. This way many hidden Indian and foreign talents could be seen on the field. Players like Suyash Sharma of KKR, Prabhsimran Singh of PBKS, B Sai Sudarshan of GT, Matheesha Pathirana and Rajvardhan Hangargekar of CSK, Ayush Badoni and Prerak Mankad of LSG, Abdul Samad of SRH, Dhruv Jurel of RR, Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror, Shabaz Ahmed, Suyash Prabhudessai of RCB and Nehal Wadhera, Tilak Verma, Ramandeep Singh, Kumar Kartikeya, Akash Madhwal of MI, lived up to the ‘impact’ bit quite well.

Last updated on 26.05.23, 09:37 AM

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