Watch: Ravi Shastri says 'Gujarat Giants' in mega blunder at IPL 2023 opener; Hardik's unsettling reaction sums it up
Ravi Shastri accidentally mispronounced Gujarat Titans' team name and the side's captain, Hardik Pandya, couldn't suppress giving a reaction.
The 2023 Indian Premier League kicked off in style as Gujarat Titans, the defending champions, took on the Chennai Super Kings in the opening match on Friday. The league opened with a glittering opening ceremony, following which the captains of both teams – Hardik Pandya (GT) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (CSK) – walked out for the toss. However, former India head coach Ravi Shastri, who hosted the toss for the opening game, made a massive blunder that went largely unnoticed.
As he began the proceedings for the toss, Shastri accidentally said ‘Gujarat Giants’ instead of Gujarat Titans; the Giants were a part of the recently-concluded Women's Premier League. The Titans' star, Hardik Pandya, couldn't suppress a smile as he heard Shastri's mistakenly getting the name wrong.
Also read: Hardik Pandya's ‘everyone in the country…’ remark on MS Dhoni at GT vs CSK toss sends crowd into frenzy
Pandya eventually won the toss and opted to bowl at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. This year, the ‘impact player’ rule is the newest addition to the league and allows each team to substitute one player from the bench, according to the situation in the match. Hilariously, when Pandya was asked about his playing XI, he admitted that he “didn't know” and proceeded to send the team sheet following the interview.
When Dhoni was asked about the new rule, he said that having an impact player is “luxury.”
"It's a luxury to have (impact player). It becomes slightly easy to take the decision because you can use it at any time," Dhoni said at the toss.
The Titans were the winners of the 2022 edition, which was also their maiden appearance in the league. Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, will look to dish out stronger performances in the 2023 edition after a forgettable outing last year. The MS Dhoni-led side finished ninth in the points table with only four wins in 14 matches.
There are speculations on whether the 2023 season would be Dhoni's last in the tournament. Many former cricketers including those in the team, however, believe that Dhoni can continue to play for CSK for as long as he can; however, no official announcement over his future is made so far.