The first qualifier on pitch number 5 (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The ‘pitch number 5’ of Chepauk Stadium in Chennai is going to witness the first qualifier of IPL 2023. In this match, the teams of Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans will be face to face. Both these teams were in the top two in the group stage and as a result of that, now they are being given the first chance to reach the finals. Whichever team wins in this, will play the final directly, while the losing team will have one more chance to reach there.
The match is on Chepauk’s pitch number 5, which is known for its stormy mood. When the war of ball and bat starts, then often the bat dominates on this pitch. Similar attitude of this pitch has been seen in IPL 2023 also.
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Know the mood of ‘pitch number 5’ ahead of the first qualifier
The first qualifier of IPL 2023 is not the first match to be played on pitch number 5 of Chepauk. Even before this, IPL 2023 matches have been held on this pitch, in which there has been a lot of batting. In that match played on 30 April 2023, against Punjab Kings, Chennai Super Kings scored 200 runs for 4 wickets in 20 overs. In response, the Punjab Kings chased down that target on the last ball of their innings and won the match by 4 wickets.
‘Pitch number 5’ tempts to bat first
The defeat from Punjab in the first qualifier will now be a lesson for Chennai Super Kings. At the same time, Gujarat Titans must have also got a message from this that what should be their strategy on pitch number 5? Actually, the upper surface of the pitch tempts the batting first after winning the toss. CSK captain Dhoni made the same mistake by winning the toss against Punjab. By the way, when Punjab captain Shikhar Dhawan was asked, he also talked about batting first. But after the result was out, it must have been realized that this pitch was meant to be a run chase.
Hit is more pace than spin on ‘Pitch No. 5’!
Now if Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya won the toss in the first qualifier, he would like to avoid batting first. And, it is important for MS Dhoni to avoid batting first not only because of the condition of the pitch but also because of his poor record against Gujarat Titans.
In fact, Chennai and Gujarat have met three times in the IPL, in which Hardik Pandya’s team has defeated MS Dhoni’s Super Kings while chasing runs all three times. As far as bowling on pitch number 5 is concerned, it seems to help the fast bowlers more. Out of the total 10 wickets that fell in the last match, 6 wickets have been taken by the pacers of both the teams together.
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