- Sinchan Saha | March 29, 2023 | 7:43 am
The first game of the 2023 Indian Premier League will be played on March 31 between the defending champions Gujarat Titans and the Chennai Super Kings. With the addition of star English all-rounder Ben Stokes, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK will aim for a significantly improved performance after finishing ninth last year. The 31-year-old star was purchased by the Super Kings for a staggering INR 16.25 crore during an auction in December.
In any case, previous India opener Aakash Chopra appears to be astounded with Stokes inclusion in the team; Chopra stated in a video posted on his official YouTube channel that the Super Kings already have a player similar to Stokes in Ruturaj Gaikwad and that Stokes prefers to build his innings rather than going for the offensive immediately.
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“As we saw in the World Cup as well, he likes to take his time in the middle. He plays better at no.3 as well, and in the IPL, his only century came when he batted up in the order. So, it’s hard to understand what’s happening there. Robin (Uthappa) isn’t there anymore, so were they searching for his replacement?”Chopra said.
Stokes had scored his main IPL century (during the 2017 season against the now-outdated Gujarat Lions) while batting at no.5; However, Rising Pune Supergiant, his team, were reduced to 10/3 when he took the field in the second over of the innings.
The former India opener went on to say that Ruturaj Gaikwad might need to play his game with more aggression and made an interesting analogy
“It is possible that Ruturaj Gaikwad hits the ground up and running. Right now, he starts slowly and picks pace as he builds the innings. But the days of diesel engine are over, we have EVs now. Ruturaj has to become an electric vehicle,”Chopra said.
Even though Gaikwad had a fantastic season in 2021, scoring 635 runs in 16 matches, the opener had an inconsistent year after that. The opener scored 368 runs at a strike rate of 126.46 in 14 matches.