Bengaluru, May 21 (IANS) Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya has won the toss and elected to bowl first against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final league match of IPL 2023 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. But just three minutes before the start of play, rain arrived again, leading to pitch being covered quickly.
With Mumbai defeating bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium by eight wickets, thanks to an unbeaten 47-ball century from Cameron Green and now at fourth place with 16 points, Bangalore have to beat table-toppers Gujarat to get into the playoffs.
After winning the toss, Hardik said his playing eleven is unchanged from their last game, where they won by 34 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad and decision to bowl first came due to the weather.
“Just want to know how much we are going to chase. For us to win games and continue the momentum, I believe in good habits. Just want to go out there and play some good cricket. For us this is as important game as the next game.”
Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis said Himanshu Sharma replaces Karn Sharma in the playing eleven, with Dinesh Karthik coming in for Shahbaz Ahmed too.
“You always want to chase because of the conditions, but the team batting first has done well here. It is a new one and the guys are motivated for this one.”
If rain makes an appearance in the Bengaluru sky later on and forces the abandonment of the match after initially delaying the start of play by 30 minutes, then both teams will get one point and Mumbai will reach the playoffs as Bangalore will be at 15 points to be out of the competition.
Gujarat Titans: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (captain), David Miller, Dasun Shanaka, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohit Sharma, Noor Ahmad, Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal
Substitutes: Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat, Shivam Mavi, R Sai Kishore, Abhinav Manohar
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (captain), Michael Bracewell, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Harshal Patel, Wayne Parnell, Mohammed Siraj and Vijaykumar Vyshak
Substitutes: Himanshu Sharma, Suyash Prabhudessai, Finn Allen, Sonu Yadav and Akash Deep