Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya has expressed his admiration for Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, stating that he will always be a fan of the former India captain. Pandya emphasized that it takes a lot to dislike Dhoni, calling him a dear friend and brother whom he shares pranks and good times with.
As the stage is set for the Qualifier 1 of IPL 2023, Gujarat Titans will face off against Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday evening at Chepauk. Both teams have exhibited consistency by fielding the same playing XI throughout the season and showcasing impressive cricket.
In a video shared by Gujarat Titans on social media, Pandya shared his thoughts about Dhoni, saying, "Many people perceive Mahi as serious, but for me, I crack jokes and don't see him as Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I have learned a lot from him, not just through conversations but also by observing him. He is like a dear friend and brother with whom I enjoy pranks and chilling."
Pandya expressed his unwavering support for Dhoni, highlighting that he will always remain a fan of the legendary cricketer. He further added, "To hate MS Dhoni, you need to be a proper devil. He has numerous fans and admirers among cricket lovers."
Leading the Gujarat Titans, Pandya's team secured 10 victories out of their 14 matches in the group stage, finishing at the top of the points table with 20 points and a net run rate of +0.809. On the other hand, Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings won 8 out of their 14 games, securing the second position on the points table with 17 points and a net run rate of +0.652.
The teams have met once in the group stage of IPL 2023, with Gujarat Titans emerging victorious by 5 wickets. In their overall head-to-head record, Gujarat Titans have triumphed in all three encounters against Chennai Super Kings in the history of the IPL so far. The upcoming playoff clash adds another chapter to their rivalry as they aim to secure a spot in the IPL 2023 final.