Gujarat Titans batter Kane Williamson has been ruled out of IPL 2023 due to a knee injury, the franchise announced on Sunday, April 2. Williamson suffered the injury during the Titans’ opening game against Chennai Super Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
“It is sad to lose Kane to injury so early in the tournament. We wish him a speedy recovery, with the hope of seeing him in action very soon,” Vikram Solanki, Titans’ director of cricket, stated in a media release ahead of the clash between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and the prediction for today’s match can be ascertained here.
Williamson picked up the serious injury during the 13th over of the first innings of the IPL opener, when landed hard on his right knee after attempting a catch at the deep square leg fence. While he did manage to intercept the six, palming the ball which then trickled towards the advertising cushions, Williamson clutched his knee in agony upon the fall and was helped off the ground, with the Titans sending in Sai Sudarshan as the Impact Player.
The left-handed Sudharsan contributed 22 off 17 balls as the defending champions registered victory in the campaign opener. In red-hot form over the past three months, Gill carried on in the same vein to score an attractive 63 off 36 balls as Titans got home with four balls to spare.
Earlier, Gaikwad showed his class with an aesthetic 92 off 50 balls but the rest of the Chennai Super Kings batters managing just 78 off the other 71 balls saw the four-time champions underachieve after Hardik Pandya opted to bowl first in front of a near-capacity crowd at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
Afghan superstar Rashid Khan recorded impressive figures of 2/26 and scored 10 in three balls, including a six off his first ball, which was instrumental in taking the Titans over the line. He was adjudged the Player of the Match for his all-round brilliance. When Gill was dismissed it looked like Chennai may have taken the initiative but Rashid and Rahul Tewatia quicky snatched the advantage from MS Dhoni & Co.
The finishing kick may have come from the all-rounders but the ground work was laid by a couple of fine hands up top from Wriddhiman Saha, Gill and Sudarshan. They ensured the asking rate never really shot up and when you keep the scoreboard ticking at a fair clip, it becomes difficult for any team to mount the pressure on the chasing side.
Williamson, who had represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in the previous seasons, was roped in for his base price of INR 2 Crore by the Titans at the auction. The former New Zealand captain had only just recovered from an elbow injury which had troubled him for the past couple of years.
The Titans haven’t named a replacement for Williamson yet, stating that they “will finalise a replacement for the right-handed batter and an announcement will be made in due course”.