Chennai’s opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has attributed their success in the ongoing IPL 2023 to their pre-season camp and praised the team management for making the players feel secure and clearly stating their roles. Four-time champions CSK put themselves in line for the fifth IPL title after they stormed into the final with a 15-run victory over defending champions Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1.
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“The camp was very vital because a new surface was being laid over in Chennai,” Gaikwad said at the post-match press conference. “Everyone was not sure how the wicket is going to be or how the wicket is going to play. But sometimes when you play on flat tracks, you need not have to think much about your shots and not much about the opposition’s bowling.”
“Sometimes batsmen play good shots and hats off to him. Even while you’re batting, it’s about getting into the zone.” Gaikwad was making his statement after CSK beat Gujarat Titans on a tricky Chepauk pitch to make their 10th IPL final.
IPL 2023: Ruturaj Gaikwad on CSK’s rise in this season
“It started from last year when we didn’t qualify for playoffs. Obviously, the management got something to work on and there were things that we needed to improve and put an effort into, or add someone.”
“This year, right from the first game, I think we were clinical and sure about who is going to play and who is not going to play and what will be our probable 12 or 13 or 15.”
Several CSK players, including Gaikwad himself, had never played an IPL game in Chennai before this season. The camp began on March 3. Captain Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ambati Rayudu were among the first batch of players to arrive in the city.
“I think right from the first game everyone knew about their roles. When the Sri Lankans came late, Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana, I think they were up to the mark even from the first game.”
“So, I think we were pretty much playing with the same team and just continued the momentum. And hats off to everyone. The support staff and the management as well.”
172 was more than a competitive total on Chepauk as Gujarat Titans ended their day 157 all out in 20 overs. Rashid Khan made the CSK fans nervous with a 16-ball 30 towards the end but it was not enough for the Titans.