Friendships will take a back seat on Blockbuster Saturday as IPL prepares for two mouthwatering contests. In the first doubleheader of the day, KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants host Hardik Pandya`s Gujarat Titans and the evening game will see Rohit Sharma`s Mumbai Indians take on Punjab Kings who Shikhar Dhawan is leading. The fans will witness the camaraderie between Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul before and after the game but the duo will be the fiercest of competitors on the pitch. Hardik`s Titans have had a stop-start sort of campaign in the first half of IPL 2023.
The defending champions have won three but lost two out of five games. Their skipper will be looking to lead his team by example and help them regain that edge. Lauding Hardik Pandya for his all-round brilliance on the pitch, former England cricketer Paul Collingwood claimed the Baroda cricketer is someone whose given him a lot of headaches as England`s coach. Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live show, Paul Collingwood said, “Hardik Pandya is a rockstar and one of the most entertaining players. He leads from the front. He`s given me the biggest headache as England coach when we played against India. He`s someone who can change the complexion of the game with his performance and that`s what makes him a threat to any opposition.”
With that maximum a fine 50-run partnership comes up between Hardik Pandya and David Miller.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 19, 2022
In the second IPL match on Saturday Mumbai Indians will host Punjab Kings at Wankhede Stadium and all eyes will once again be on the local boy Arjun Tendulkar. Arjun bowled a crucial last over against Sunrisers Hyderabad and helped his team win a nail-biting encounter in Hyderabad. Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri said he was impressed with the rookie left-arm pacer for targetting the right areas in the final over and earning his maiden IPL wicket. Shastri said, “There was a clarity of thought in the way Arjun executed those yorkers in the final over. He worked brilliantly on the change of pace and he now has achieved something which his father couldn`t. Sachin never had an IPL wicket, and Arjun has surpassed him.”
Meanwhile in the Southern Derby between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the former continued to maintain their dominance over the latter at home with a convincing seven-wicket win last night. Devon Conway slammed his third consecutive fifty in IPL 2023 as CSK cruised home. The South Africa-born cricketer who plays for New Zealand handles seamers, as well as spinners, with equal ease.Former South Africa cricketer Imran Tahir has thrown some light on why the left-handed batter – who was an already established name in South African domestic cricket before shifting his base to New Zealand – is so good against spin.Speaking on Star Sports` Cricket Live, Imran Tahir said with a laugh, “Devon Conway is a quality cricketer. He makes full use of his batting talent. I, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj have bowled him a lot in the domestic circuit in South Africa, and that`s why he`s so good.”