The evening was unforgettable for Gujarat Titans as they tried to put the Rinku Singh disaster behind them and move on quickly with their busy schedule. Despite losing their previous game, they believe that they did almost everything right and are currently in fourth place with a positive Net Run Rate. They have a lot of their pieces starting to come together, with Sai Sudharsan filling in well at No. 3 in the absence of Kane Williamson, and Vijay Shankar impressing in bits. Rashid Khan is also among the wickets again, and the bowling unit has been mostly cohesive. With optimism, they hope to forget about their previous loss and defend their title.
Punjab Kings, on the other hand, may feel a sense of novelty. For the first time since the 2021 season, they have won two consecutive league matches at the start of this year’s campaign, which is a great achievement for a team that is typically inconsistent. However, they go into Thursday’s fixture after a loss, but they will be encouraged by the return of Kagiso Rabada and Liam Livingstone, who they acquired during the auction this year to bring balance and firepower to the team.
The match between Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans will take place on April 13, 2023, at 07:30 PM IST.
The only match played in Mohali so far had excellent batting conditions, but it was a day fixture. The trend of winning the toss and choosing to bowl first is likely to continue as the venue rewards such a decision. In 2019, five out of the seven matches at the venue were won by the chasing team.
Last season, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans won one match each in their two encounters.
Injury/Availability: Liam Livingstone has joined the PBKS squad and is expected to make it to the playing XI. Kagiso Rabada, the leading wicket-taker from the previous season, may also be included in the team. However, due to balance concerns, they are unlikely to be able to fit both Rabada and Nathan Ellis in the team. In the event that Bhanuka Rajapaksa is available, PBKS may have to decide between Sikandar Raza and him for one of the international picks.
Tactics & Matchups: Picking Rabada and unleashing him on the Gujarat Titans openers could be a good move, especially since he has had success against Shubman Gill. The GT opener has faced 38 balls from the South African and has been removed thrice while only scoring 29 runs.
Probable XI: Prabhsimran Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Sikandar Raza/Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Ellis/Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh
Injury/Unavailable: After missing the last game due to illness, Hardik Pandya is expected to return to the Gujarat Titans lineup.
Tactics & Matchups: Gujarat Titans might use Rashid Khan early on in the game to tackle Shikhar Dhawan, who has struggled against him in the past. In contrast, Dhawan sits at the top of the IPL 2023 batting charts. Rashid Khan has bowled only one PowerPlay over so far, but Pandya might consider using him more aggressively to contain the opposition’s top-order.
Probable XI: The Gujarat Titans lineup is expected to feature Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, and Joshua Little.
Did you know:
Since 2018, Punjab Kings have won nine out of the 11 matches played in Mohali.
Kagiso Rabada is just one wicket away from completing his century of IPL wickets. Lasith Malinga holds the record for being the fastest to reach this milestone, achieving it in 70 matches.
Shubman Gill has scored 330 runs in nine innings against Punjab Kings, with an average of 55 and a strike rate of 139.24. This includes four half-centuries and his highest IPL score of 96