Placed at ninth in the previous edition, Chennai Super Kings were off to a disappointing start in IPL 2023 after being defeated by defending champions Gujarat Titans by five wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. But the night wasn’t without positives for the four-time champions.

IPL 2023: Gaikwad’s knock is in vain as Gill, Rashid star for Gujarat Titans in five-wicket win

Ruturaj Gaikwad gave the Chennai fans something to cheer for with a flurry of boundaries in his 92 off 50 balls. Although Ruturaj lost partners Moeen Ali for 23 and then new signing Ben Stokes for seven but kept up the attack against the opposition bowlers.

But Mohammed Shami, who reached 100 IPL wickets, Rashid Khan and Alzarri Joseph took two wickets each to check the opposition scoring before they were dismissed for 178/7. A tally that MS Dhoni reckoned was 15-20 runs short.

Talking about Gaikwad’s knock, CSK captain Dhoni said after the match, “We all knew there will be dew. We could have done a bit more with the batsmanship. Ruturaj (Gaikwad) was brilliant, he times the ball well and he’s a pleasure to watch. The way he picks his options, it is pleasing to watch. I think it’s important for the youngsters to step in.”

Pace-bowling all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar, who was picked by the franchise after his contribution in India’s U-19 World Cup winning campaign in 2022, was also handed his IPL debut against Gujarat Titans on Friday. Finishing with 3/36, Hangargekar was one of the other youngsters that impressed.

“I think Raj (Hangargekar) has pace and he will get better with time. Think the bowlers will get better, a no-ball is something that’s in your control, so you need to work on that. I felt two left armers will be a better option so I went ahead with them. Shivam (Dube) was an option, but I felt comfortable with the bowlers overall,” said Dhoni.

Quotes courtesy: PTI

Watch Dhoni’s interview here.

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