IPL Final: Rain delays start, advantage with Gujarat Titans

As rain-drenched Narendra Modi stadium questions galore over the fate of an exciting IPL season finale

| Updated: 28 May, 2023 8:13 pm IST
Gujarat Titans coach Ashish Nehra surely doesn't mind some more rain (Photo Courtesy Twitter @gujarat_titans) 

NEW DELHI: As rain drenched Ahmedabad, with the playfield at the majestic Narendra Modi stadium underwater, questions galore arose about the fate of a prospective mouth-watering Indian Premier League season finale between defending champion Gujarat Titans and four-time former champion Chennai Super Kings.

The prospect of watching CSK’s Thala Mahendra Singh Dhoni probably end his glittering career on a high is always emotional to the legion of his friends, crossing the divide that franchisee cricket has brought to the cricket-mad nation.

In their hearts, many would be rooting for the man who led India to become champions in all three formats. However, for the more pragmatic ones, the final also provides an opportunity to see how Dhoni’s protégé and Titans skipper Hardik Pandya fares against the man who is more than a brother to him.

ALSO READ: IPL 2023: CSK face defending champions Titans

Pandya, without doubt, had mastered the art of controlling his emotions, a trait he surely picked up from Dhoni, but whether he can outthink his mentor and former India skipper on the big stage is something to see.

With both teams following almost a similar approach in terms of philosophy, it is the individual battle that could decide the fate of the match. The Titans surely had an advantage in terms of Shubman Gill’s imperious form and Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma’s unsuspecting work rate.

While all that made for a fitting season finale, the rain gods appeared to have other plans.

While it might look like there will be a washout, fans have something to cheer on as there is a reserve day for the IPL 2023 final.

However, it will be a long night before the game goes to reserve day. The cut-off time for a full match is 9.35 pm after which the overs will be deducted. At least a five-over game needs to be held, and the cut-off time for that is 12.06 am. So, yes, prepare for a long night if you are a fanatic.

There is a possibility for a super over shootout, but that can only be explored on the reserve day, in this case on Monday.

“For the final, in the event that it is not possible to schedule a 5 over match to be completed by the end of the extra time on the reserve day, the teams will, if conditions permit, play a Super Over to determine the winner of the final. This means that the pitch and ground must be ready for play so that the Super Over can start at the latest by 1.20 am,” the rules stated

However, if the rains decide not to relent, then it will be advantageous for the Gujarat Titans, as they can secure their second successive title. The reason is simple: Titans have a superior performance in the group stage in comparison to the Chennai Super Kings.

“In the event that it is not possible to start the Super Over as described in paragraphs 8 and 9 or to then complete the Super Over without interruption, the team that finished highest in the league table after the 70 matches of the regular season shall be declared the winner of the relevant playoff match or final,” the rules stated.

Truly, Titans fans won’t mind if there is rain today and tomorrow. One cannot discount Dhoni, the magician and tactician.

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