It’s payback time as the Royals head to Ahmedabad to take on champions Gujarat Titans.

Revenge will be on the minds when Rajasthan Royals face reigning champions Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday (April 16). It’s a clash that has all the makings of a blockbuster. The teams have had a flying start to IPL 2023, the players look in prime form and neither look in the mood to relent. 

The history between the two teams is on the Titans’ side, having won all three matches against the Men in Pink so far. But if there’s one thing that the Royals are known for then that’s their habit of re-writing old scripts – remember the incredible win in Chennai a few days back, the first since 2008? And against the champions, Rajasthan will be hoping for something similar.

Match details

IPL 2023: Gujarat Titans vs Rajasthan Royals - April 16, 2023

Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad

7:30 PM IST

Just like the venue, the Narendra Modi Stadium is known to roll out pristine pitches which tend to have something for everyone – the batters, the pacers, and even the spinners. The two IPL matches at the venue this season has shown us that players who are willing to apply themselves can reap the benefits from the surface. 

The increased bounce could mean that the batters will have to alter their approach to suit the wicket, while the middle overs could see the spinners extract some juice. And if the past matches are a reckoner, the teams will have to ensure that they stay in the middle throughout the 20 overs to have a say in the match.

The battle to watch out

Clash of emerging captains

One of the interesting subplots in Sunday’s clash will be the battle between two rising leaders in the Indian cricket scene, Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya. Over the past few IPL seasons, the two skippers have shown their calibre and don’t shy away from taking a challenge head-on. Be it Samson, who’s an influential figure in the Royals’ setup that has some big names in Jos Buttler, Trent Boult, and R Ashwin, among others; or Pandya who led a new franchise to the IPL title in their debut season, quality leadership has shone throughout their tenure. 

As captains in the IPL

Sanju Samson


Hardik Pandya











Win Percentage


Moreover, what stands out about the two is their ability to elevate their games to set an example and lead from the front. Samson has scored a mammoth 555 runs at a strike rate of 148 since 2022, the most runs by any non-opening batter in IPL, while Pandya’s exploits with the bat and the ball are well documented. Their cricketing knowledge coupled with the ability to respond to challenging situations in the most shrewd manner see them among the successful leaders in IPL since 2022.

Key player

R Ashwin - The allrounder

R Ashwin, the bowler, is a legend of Indian cricket. It doesn’t matter the format or the surface, the Chennai man has always shown his class with the ball. But the past few years have seen Ashwin add a new dimension to his cricket with the bat. For a man who loves spending ample time in the nets, Ashwin is finally enjoying the fruits of his labour, and the Royals are benefitting from it.

Against the Chennai Super Kings, in the previous match, it was Ashwin who put in a show and stitched together a 47-run partnership with Buttler to steady the Rajasthan innings after the fall of two quick wickets. What makes Ashwin unique is his ability to slot into numerous roles in the batting line-up. While his bowling is an asset, Ashwin’s googlies with the bat have caught the opposition by surprise time and again.

Team news

It’s a happy headache to have for head coach Kumar Sangakkara. With all his players delivering when called up, the Rajasthan gaffer is sure to find himself in a similar position when he sits down to name his side for the match against champions Gujarat Titans. 

The team’s front-line bowler, Boult, missed out on the previous encounter with a niggle. But Kuleep Sen and Sandeep Sharma made up for the miss. With KM Asif also in the squad, Sangakkara could look to marshal his troops well given the long and taxing season IPL 2023 is turning out to be. 

The team also seems to have found an answer to utilising the Impact Player to its full potential. By naming just three overseas players in their playing XI, Adam Zampa was thrown into the mix during the chase against CSK and the Australian spinner responded well. One will have to wait and see if the Royals continue with the same strategy or change it given the opponent and the conditions on Sunday.

Upcoming milestones

  • Devdutt Padikkal is one short of 50 matches in the IPL.
  • Jos Buttler needs two catches for 200 catches in T20s.
  • Trent Boult needs three wickets to reach the 100 wickets mark in the IPL.
  • Jos Buttler needs three fours to complete 300 fours in the IPL.