Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya has been rested for the ongoing game against Chennai in Pune. In Pandya’s absence, Rashid Khan, who was announced as the vice-captain ahead of the season, is leading the team. Khan revealed that Pandya has a little bit of stiffness in his groin and the team doesn’t want to take any chances with the same.
â€œA little bit of stiffness in his groin, I think as a team we really didnâ€™t want to take that chance to play this one. We have a good break after this game and hopefully, heâ€™ll be back for the next game.â€ Rashid Khan said at the toss.
Notably, the Indian T20 League debutants will play their next game on April 23 against Kolkata. This means that the team and their regular skipper will get six days of rest ahead of their next game. The 28-year-old scored an unbeaten 87 against Rajasthan in their previous game. He is currently the third-highest run-getter in the 15th season with 228 runs in five games, averaging 76 and striking at 136.52.
Talking about the game, the Gujarat-based franchise won the toss and elected to bowl first. They had a great start as Mohammed Shami and Alzarri Joseph took the wickets of Robin Uthappa (3) and Moeen Ali (1) respectively inside the powerplay. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayadu (46) stitched a partnership of 92 runs before the latter became the second victim of Joseph.
On the other hand, Gaikwad, who has been out of form in the first five games, scored 73 off 48 and has finally got back to the groove. As for Rashid Khan, he conceded 29 runs in his full quota of four overs. The defending champions got to 169-5 in the first innings. Their skipper Ravindra Jadeja played an excellent cameo as he scored a 12-ball 22. This includes two sixes in the 20th over. Thus, it will be exciting to see if Gujarat can go on to chase this total without their star all-rounder.