Ruturaj Gaikwad attributed the success of Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023 to the pre-season camp. cricket news
Four-time champions CSK defeated defending champions Gujarat Titans by 15 runs in Qualifier-1 on Tuesday. Chepauk,
CSK did well to reach 172/7 on a slow pitch after Hardik Pandya opted to bowl. Chasing a challenging target, Gujarat Titans had a rare day to be bundled out for 157. Rashid Khan rattled CSK fans with a 16-ball 30 towards the end, but it was not enough for the Titans.
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After the game, Gaikwad attributed CSK’s success this season to their pre-season camp and praised the team management for making the players feel safe and clearly defining their roles.
“The camp was very important as a new surface was being prepared in Chennai,” Gaikwad said in the post-match press conference.
He said, “Everyone was not sure how the wicket would be or how the wicket would play. But sometimes when you play on flat pitches, you do not need to think much about your shots and not about the opposition bowling. More thinking is needed.”
“Sometimes batters play good shots and salute them. Even when you’re batting, it’s about getting in the zone.”
Gaikwad was making his assessment after CSK beat Gujarat Titans on a difficult Chepauk track to reach their 10th IPL final.
Several CSK players, including Gaikwad himself, had never played an IPL game in Chennai before this season. The camp began on March 3, with skipper Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu being among the first batch of players to arrive in the city.
“A lot of effort goes into our success,” Gaikwad said. “It started last year when we didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Obviously, management’s got something to work on and there were things we needed to improve and try or add someone.”
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“This year, right from the first game, I think we were clinical and sure who was going to play and who wasn’t and what our probable 12 or 13 or 15 would be.
“I think from the first game itself everyone knew their roles. When the Sri Lankans came late – Teekshana and Mathisha Pathirana – I think they were up to the mark from the first game as well.
“So I guess we were playing with almost the same team and just kept the momentum going. And hats off to everyone – the support staff and the management too.”
(with agency inputs)