The last time Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings met at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the match was an IPL classic for the ages.

In a thrilling rain-hit final last year, Ravindra Jadeja famously hit the required 10 runs off the last two balls to help CSK clinch its fifth title. But ahead of their reverse-fixture clash here on Friday, the two teams are a pale shadow of their former selves.

The defending champion is locked in a tight mid-field battle and hanging by a thread in fourth place in the race to make the playoffs. It has been a start-stop campaign for the Super Kings, whose last four matches have alternated between a loss and a win. 

Though the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led side is coming into this game after a victory against the Punjab Kings, the outfit is far from settled. The lack of runs from its main batters, particularly Ajinkya Rahane, continues to be a pain point, while the bowling attack in the absence of Matheesha Pathirana looks thin.  

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Meanwhile, the bottom-placed Titans have bigger worries heading into this must-win tie. The former champion hasn’t yet nailed its ideal combination and is on a three-match losing streak.

Rashid Khan’s poor form has been a key reason for the team’s poor results, and the host would hope the Afghan spinner rediscovers his mojo and helps the side get out of its rut. GT has lost its last three meetings against CSK and will want to break this jinx on Friday to stay alive in the competition.