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Hardik Pandya’s batting position to change: GT predicts XI vs MI in IPL 2023 Qualifier 2

Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) will be in action against five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the second qualifier of the IPL 2023 playoffs at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. GT lost the first qualifier to CSK in Chennai but will be looking to prove that was just fraction with the win against MI at home.

GT qualified for the playoffs by topping the table after the league stage after winning 10 out of 14 matches and are in contention for a second consecutive IPL final. The Hardik Pandya-led team has been the best team in the tournament so far and still has a strong chance of retaining the title.

During the league phase, GT defeated CSK, DC, PBKS, KKR, RR, MI, SRH, RCB once and LSG twice. While they lost to KKR, RR, MI and DC, they bounced back after each loss and promptly repeated their titles. In the first qualifier against CSK, the bowlers did well as they restricted CSK to 172/7, but their batting faltered under pressure from the CSK bowlers on a slow and dry pitch and GT ended up losing the game by 15 runs. They will look for an all-round performance against MI to prepare for the final against CSK in Ahmedabad.

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Shubman Gill is GT’s top scorer this season, scoring 722 runs so far including two hundreds and four fifties. He is just eight runs short of becoming the highest run-getter in IPL 2023. Saha has scored 299 runs while Vijay Shankar and David Miller have scored 301 and 259 runs so far this season. Hardik Pandya has contributed 297 runs so far.

Sai Sudharsan also chipped in this season with 223 runs in just six innings. Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan and Abhinav Manohar also played some important knocks for the team.

The GT batsmen had a rare day off in the first qualifier and will be desperate to put their poor performance against CSK behind them against MI. Pitchers have been great all season for GT. Mohammed Shami is the top wicket-taker in the IPL this season with 26 scalps, Rashid Khan is second on the list with 25 wickets.

Alzarri Joseph took 7 wickets but lost his place in the squad to Noor Ahmed in the latter stages of the tournament. Ahmed has been brilliant so far, picking up 14 wickets in eleven matches at an economy of 7. Mohit Sharma has also taken 19 wickets at an economy of eight. Josh Little also scored important goals for the team.

Abhinav Manohar is expected to return to the side in place of Shanaka as the Sri Lankan all-rounder has not made the desired impact in the last few matches and Josh Little or Yash Dayal could replace Darshan Nalkande in the bowling unit. Sai Sudharsan, Josh Little and Jayant Yadav, Yash Dayal, Dasun Shanaka are all Impact player options for GT.

Predicted XI vs MI GT:

Openers: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk).

Top and middle order: David Miller, Vijay Shankar, Abhinav Manohar.

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya (c), Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia.

Bowlers: Mohammed Shami, Noor Ahmed, Mohit Sharma.

Impact Player: For GT, their Impact Player options are Sai Sudharsan, Josh Little, Jayant Yadav, Yash Dayal and Dasun Shanaka.

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