Qualifier 2 Preview: Mumbai take on defending champions in Ahmedabad
Reigning champions Gujarat Titans will collide against five-time champions Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 for a ticket to the final. The winner of the clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 26 will join Chennai Super Kings in the final of the competition.
Mumbai Indians are the in-form side, heading into the contest after they saw off the challenge of Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator. While Mumbai’s batters posted a competitive total on a sluggish surface, Akash Madhwal sent the record books tumbling with a mind-boggling 5/5 to blow away the Lucknow-based franchise in an 81-run defeat.
In contrast to Mumbai, the defending champions had an off-colour day against Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1. Hardik Pandya’s men did not turn up with the bat, as no one, apart from Shumban Gill and Rashid Khan, managed to tackle the CSK spinners on a slow surface. Gujarat, who topped the table during the league stage of the tournament, will be hoping to seal the place in the final for a second year running.
Pitch and conditions
The surface in Ahmedabad has witnessed several high-scoring contests in the ongoing 16th edition of the tournament. Unless there is a major tweak in the playing conditions, batters will enjoy their time in the middle, with the teams inclined to bowl first after winning the toss as due might play a role in the latter stages.
Venue details: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Last T20 match at the venue: GT- 188/9 (20 overs) SRH- 154/9 (20 overs)
Probable playing XI for Gujarat Titans vs Mumbai Indians:
While Shubman Gill has been in rollicking form this season, the lack of runs from skipper Hardik Pandya has been a big concern for the defending champions. David Miller has also not been able to touch the heights of last season with a lot depending on the veteran Proteas batter in the middle order.
The five-time champions unearthed another superstar in their last outing as Akash Madhwal registered his name into the record books after a breathtaking bowling performance. They are peaking just at the right time in the tournament and will be hoping to join arch-rivals CSK in the final with a victory over the reigning champions.