Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 27 (ANI): Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar said on Friday that Gujarat Titans' batter Shubman Gill's match-winning century against Mumbai Indians (MI) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) Qualifier 2 match at Ahmedabad will be remembered for years because of how he forced Rohit Sharma to change his strategies and due to his ability to play proper cricketing shots while going so hard at the opposition in the T20 format.
After 73 nail-biting contests and high-adrenaline games, IPL 2023 has reached its crescendo as fans have got the two finalists in Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans. Interestingly, it will be a repeat of the opening game of IPL 2023 where defending champions Gujarat Titans hosted four-time champions Chennai Super Kings in their backyard amid much fanfare at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium.
Gujarat Titans - who were a team to beat from the start of the tournament - suffered a defeat in Qualifier 1 against CSK. In Qualifier 2 GT faced a resurgent Mumbai Indians but young Shubman Gill's sublime century - third of the season - and Mohit Sharma's five-wicket haul propelled the holders to an emphatic victory.
Gill's knock of 129 off 60 balls against MI will go down as one of the best centuries in the history of the competition. Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar hailed the young India batter for his superlative effort in a high-pressure game.
Speaking on Star Sports Studio, Sunil Gavaskar said, "This innings of Gill will be remembered for years. In this knock, Gill forced opposition captain Rohit Sharma to change his strategy by targeting MI's main bowlers. During these matchless innings, Gill kept his strike rate consistently good and kept his team free from pressure. Along with this, this innings will also be remembered for Gill's ability to play cricketing shots in the T20 format."Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh also lauded the immensely talented youngster from Punjab for keeping his basics right and his clarity of thoughts at such a young age.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Harbhajan Singh said, "Shubman Gill's batting proves one thing that if your basics are right, and your thinking is clear, then runs will automatically flow out of your bat. The batting of Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill has proven that you do not need to hit oblique shots to score runs. These two are representing different generations but their bats have yielded a lot of runs and all this has been possible due to clear thinking and sticking to the basics of cricket."Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan claimed this knock against Mumbai Indians will be remembered as one of the iconic innings in IPL Playoffs history.
Pathan said, "Years later when you will look back, you will remember this knock. If you look at the history of IPL qualifier matches, you will hold this knock from Gill in high regard. It was completely different from what we have witnessed in the knockout stages of IPL. The way Gill groomed this knock and the way he targeted MI's main bowlers is commendable."Former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif claimed the IPL 2023 season came a full circle with GT facing CSK in the last game of the tournament.
Kaif said, "It has been one-all between CSK and GT in this season. The IPL 2023 has come full circle as CSK and GT featured in the first match of the competition. The match was played at this very ground where GT won, and later CSK returned the favour when GT went to Chennai by defeating Gujarat by a big margin in Qualifier 1. So, the final is going to be a heavily-contested one."Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh stated CSK has reached the finals the most number of times because of the belief their players have in one another.
Singh said, "CSK is a successful team and surprisingly has played with the same team. This team has reached the finals the most number of times because each of its players believes in the ability of each of their partners. Part of the reason is that its captain believes in his teammates and is one of the most shrewd cricketing minds in the world - his name is Mahendra Singh Dhoni."Pathan opined Gujarat Titans have a very solid and well-rounded bowling attack but Dhoni's presence in the CSK dressing room will keep CSK in contention and the crowd being divided despite Gujarat Titans going to play on their home ground.
Pathan said, "Quality wise Gujarat Titans are much ahead in the bowling department than CSK. In terms of man-to-man marking, Gujarat Titans are ahead. But it will be an emotional match between CSK and GT. I am a Gujarati and will want GT to win, but my feelings are inclined towards MS Dhoni. There is still no clarity on whether he will play next year. Because of the Dhoni factor, the heart is backing CSK."GT bowlers have dominated this IPL 2023. The top three spots in the race to the Purple Cap for most wickets are occupied by GT's trio of Mohammed Shami (28 wickets), Rashid Khan (27 wickets) and Mohit Sharma (24 wickets). (ANI)