Hardik Pandya's Gujarat Titans won the toss and elected to bowl first against the M.S. Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Narendra Modi Stadium here on Friday.
Gujarat look to capitalise after winning toss
After winning the toss GT skipper Pandya said: "New start, new season, quite exciting. Good to play here and the kind of crowd we get here is exciting."
About playing against Dhoni, Pandya said "Almost everyone in the country has got motivation from him (Dhoni). Been a fan and admirer of him. Want boys to enjoy it. The result will take care of itself. Impact Player is different, so I've left it to (coach). Ashu pa works all night on what needs to be done."
Ben Stokes raring to go
On the other hand, Dhoni said that CSK will have four overseas players -- Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Mitchell Santner, and Devon Conway -- while Maharashtra bowling all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar is making his IPL debut.
"Looks a good wicket and I don't think it will change. Don't know if there will be dew because it rained last night. You want to play in front of people. This stadium is twice the capacity of other stadiums. Fantastic atmosphere. Preparation was good. We assembled quite early."
On the impact player rule, Dhoni said, "It's a luxury to have. It becomes slightly easier to decide because you can use it at any time. The influence of allrounders has become slightly less because of the rule."
Gujarat Titans (Playing XI): Wriddhiman Saha(w), Shubman Gill, Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya(c), Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Joshua Little, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph
Subs: Tushar Deshpande, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Ajinkya Rahane, Nishant Sindhu
Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(w/c), Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Rajvardhan Hangargekar
Subs: B Sai Sudharsan, Jayant Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Abhinav Manohar, KS Bharat
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