Gujarat Titans will be out of the race for the play-offs against the Super Kings to secure a place in the top two

Mumbai, May 14 (PTI) Play-off berths Gujarat Titans will look to seal a place in the top two by registering a win against out-of-favour Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.

Under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya, Gujarat performed better than expected and ensured a place in the play-offs with two matches remaining.

The Titans are leading the way with 18 points from 12 matches and a win on Sunday would almost ensure a place in the top two which would mean the team an extra chance to make it to the finals.

The defending champions Super Kings, who are ranked ninth in the ten-team table, are out of the race for the play-offs and will play in the remaining two matches with the intention of saving reputation.

Titans secured a place in the play-offs with a 62-run win in their previous match against Lucknow Super Giants, while Super Kings suffered a five-wicket loss against Mumbai Indians in their previous match.

Young opener Shubman Gill, captain Hardik, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha and Rahul Tewatia have batted well for Titans during the season and would like to continue the momentum against the Super Kings.

The Titans’ stellar performance in their debut season is largely attributed to their ability to bounce back in tough conditions.

However, in the last few matches, Titans batsmen have not been able to perform as per expectations and Hardik will be expecting consistency from his batsmen.

In the previous match, only Gill (63 not out) was able to bat at the crease and remained unbeaten throughout the innings as Titans put up a competitive score of 144 for four and then defended it with ease.

The team management of Titans will also hope that Hardik, Miller and Tewatia’s bat will again get the run.

Titans’ strong side though is their bowling attack which includes world-class batsmen like Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan.

Shami is the team’s most successful bowler with 16 wickets while Ferguson is able to trouble any batting order with his stormy bowling.

Rashid has also regained momentum after a slow start and took four wickets in the last match.

Yash Dayal has also picked up wickets but his economy rate is a matter of concern while R Sai Kishore took two wickets in his very first match playing Rashid’s good side.

The current season has been like a nightmare for the Super Kings and from the very beginning nothing is going in their favor.

The decision to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Ravindra Jadeja as the captain proved to be wrong and the all-rounder never looked comfortable in the role of captain, due to which the veteran wicketkeeper had to take over the reins of the team again.

If this was not enough, then speculations of a rift between Super Kings and Jadeja also came to the fore. Jadeja returned home before the last match due to a rib injury.

Devon Conway has done exceptionally well with the bat for the Super Kings despite getting limited chances while Shivam Dubey and Ruturaj Gaikwad will also look to play good innings.

In the absence of Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne, even the Super Kings bowlers could not perform as expected. Mukesh Choudhary and Simranjit Singh impressed but apart from lack of quality new-ball bowlers, Moeen Ali and Mahesh Teekshana also failed to perform as expected in the spin department.

The teams are as follows:

Gujarat Titans: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Gurkeerat Singh, B Sai Sudarshan, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Matthew Wade, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Wriddhiman Saha, Alzarri Joseph, Darshan Nalkande, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammad Shami, Noor Ahmed, Pradeep Sangwan, Rashid Khan, Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore, Varun Aaron and Yash Dayal.

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Captain), Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner, Chris Jordan, Adam Milne, Devon Conway, Shivam Dubey, Dwayne Pretorius, Mahesh Tiksha, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Tushar Deshpande, KM Asif, C Hari Nishant, N Jagadeesan, Subhranshu Senapati, K Bhagat Verma, Prashant Solanki, Simarjit Singh and Mukesh Choudhary.

Time: The match will start at 3.30 pm.