Gujarat Titans had an evening that cannot be described. In an effort to move on swiftly as games are played often, it is advisable to write off the Rinku Singh carnage in their previous game as an isolated incident. After reflecting for a few days, they’ll realize that, despite losing the outcome, they did practically everything correctly in that game. Gujarat is fourth with a favorable Net Run Rate and several of its components beginning to come together despite the heartbreaking loss. Sai Sudharsan has stepped in at No. 3 excellently, so the absence of Kane Williamson has hardly been noticed.
Rashid Khan is once again taking wickets, Vijay Shankar has shown flashes of brilliance, and the bowling unit has generally worked well together. There is a reason for the hope that they can move past the previous outcome and resume their title defense.
The sensation could be unfamiliar to Punjab Kings. They were able to start off their campaign this year with two straight league stage victories for the first time since the 2021 campaign. They’d be pleased with that start because they’re a side that is consistently inconsistent. They, too, are coming off a loss going into the game on Thursday, but they will be encouraged by the availability of Kagiso Rabada and Liam Livingstone, who should provide them the balance and firepower they aimed for this year.
When: April 13, 2023, 7:30 PM IST, Punjab Kings vs. Gujarat Titans
Where: IS Bindra Stadium at the Punjab Cricket Association in Mohali
What to expect: Although it was a day match, the one game played in Mohali thus far provided perfect batting conditions. The win-toss-bowl-first strategy should continue since the venue rewards it; in 2019, the chasing team won 5 of the venue’s 7 games.
Head-to-head: In their two meetings from last season, each team came out on top once.
Livingstone has joined the PBKS team and should be able to play despite an injury. The top wicket-taker from the last season, Kagiso Rabada, might also be selected by the hosts. Even though Nathan Ellis has bowled well in the three games, they are unlikely to be able to squeeze both of them in for the sake of balance. In the event that Bhanuka Rajapaksa is available, PBKS may have to choose between Sikandar Raza and him for one of the international picks.
It could be a wise choice to select Rabada and use him against the Gujarat Titans’ openers, especially because he has an advantage against Shubman Gill. The GT opener has faced 38 balls from the South African and has been out twice, scoring just 29 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Ellis/Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, and Prabhsimran Singh make up the probable XI.
Hardik Pandya should be ready again after missing the previous game due to illness.
Strategies & Matchups: Rashid Khan has only bowled an over in the PowerPlay once in the first three games. In order to stop Shikhar Dhawan’s threat in its tracks, Hardik Pandya might turn to him early on Thursday. The batting leader of IPL 2023, the skipper of PBKS, has only scored 53 runs in 56 balls faced by the leggie and has also been out four times.
Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, and Joshua Little comprise the probable starting XI.