The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kickstarted today with a mouth-watering clash between defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.
The match will be a battle of two generations of Indian cricket. At one side will be CSK skipper MS Dhoni, who took Indian cricket to new heights of success in late 2000s to early 2010s by clinching inaugural ICC T20 World Cup (2007), ICC Cricket World Cup (2011) and ICC Champions Trophy (2013) and became the only skipper to win these three major titles. Dhoni replicated this success in IPL, leading the team to the title on four occassions.
On the other side is GT skipper Hardik Pandya, who was pushed into superstardom after leading GT to the title in their debut season. Pandya has also led India to some wins at the international level in shorter format and is making a case for himself as a future white-ball skipper.
This year also marks a turning point for the IPL with a raft of new rules. The old home-away format returns, with all 10 franchises getting to host games at their venues. Some of the other rule changes include:
- The playing XIs will be named after the toss, not before.
- Teams can substitute an 'Impact Player' into the playing XI at any point in the game. The substitute player can bat, bowl and field but not captain the team.
- Players can refer umpire calls for wides and no-balls to the DRS, considering the controversies that had erupted in the past few seasons.
- Wicket-keepers can now be penalised for making 'unfair movements' behind the stumps, such as shuffling before the batter hits the ball.
- Slow over-rates by teams will warrant a penalty this season, with 90 minutes allotted for each team to bowl 20 overs. An extra player would need to be placed inside the 30-yard circle for every over bowled beyond the time limit.
But before the cricketing action, there will be some music to celebrate one of the biggest festivals of cricket. An opening ceremony will take place to entertain the crowd.
This ceremony is all set to be an unforgettable night with three headlining acts that will dazzle the audience with their incredible performances. Opening the show will be a jaw-dropping performance by Arijit Singh and his troupe, enthralling the audience with his vocal acrobatics.
The event will feature two of India’s most popular stars and youth icons – Rashmika Mandanna and Tamannaah Bhatia.
GT Squad: Abhinav Manohar, Shubman Gill, Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya (C), Rahul Tewatia, Matthew Wade(w), Rashid Khan, Shivam Mavi, Alzarri Joseph, Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, Srikar Bharat, Wriddhiman Saha, Sai Sudharsan, Urvil Patel, Vijay Shankar, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Odean Smith, Jayant Yadav, Joshua Little, Darshan Nalkande, Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma, Pradeep Sangwan
CSK Squad: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(wk/C), Dwaine Pretorius, Deepak Chahar, Simarjeet Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Mitchell Santner, Bhagath Varma, Tushar Deshpande, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ajay Jadav Mandal, Prashant Solanki, Akash Singh.