Chennai is eyeing a record fifth IPL title at Gujarat’s home venue, where over 100,000 people are expected to attend.
Over 100,000 spectators are anticipated at the greatest cricket stadium in the world for the Indian Premier League final and likely farewell of superstar MS Dhoni.
To win a record-tying sixth T20 tournament championship, Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings will compete against the reigning champion Gujarat Titans on Sunday in Ahmedabad.
However, Gujarat, who are attempting to defend the championship they won in a Cinderella maiden season a year ago, won’t be taken lightly at their home ground. Hardik Pandya is the head coach of Gujarat.
Pandya lifted the trophy in front of 101,566 fans at the 132,000-capacity stadium in 2022, a world record for a T20 cricket match. But the organizers were confident that the record would fall on Sunday evening when, barring a surprise, Dhoni will take to the field for the last time as a player.
Rising star vs old guard
Also standing on the way to Chennai in the final play-off on Friday will be Gujarat opener Shubman Gill, fresh from scoring a century – his third in the IPL.
The most recent of Gill’s three IPL hundreds, 129 off 60 balls, destroyed the five-time champion Mumbai Indians.
Vikram Solanki, Gujarat’s director of cricket and a former England batsman, said of Gill on Saturday, “He would definitely be the example you would like to use towards young players on how to bat.”
“If you are trying to model yourself on a particular player, he has all of the qualities of a world-class player.”
And former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, on the ESPN cricinfo website, called Gill a “once-in-a-generation player”.