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IPL 2021: PREVIEW-Chennai Superkings Eye Comeback Against Punjab Kings

Verdict: Every team goes through a bad year and this was CSK’s turn. That they finished strongly should give them hope for the future. However, that won’t happen automatically. They’ll have to learn from the mistakes this season. After the IPL 2019 final, Dhoni had spoken about the need to strengthen their batting but they did nothing to improve that in the subsequent auction. Now, they have no choice but to go for a revamp. Shane Watson has retired, and a few others will find it difficult to find takers. How CSK handles the transition phase will be interesting to see.

Verdict: Every team goes through a bad year and this was CSK’s turn. That they finished strongly should give them hope for the future. However, that won’t happen automatically. They’ll have to learn from the mistakes this season. After the IPL 2019 final, Dhoni had spoken about the need to strengthen their batting but they did nothing to improve that in the subsequent auction. Now, they have no choice but to go for a revamp. Shane Watson has retired, and a few others will find it difficult to find takers. How CSK handles the transition phase will be interesting to see.

In the second round of matches, Chennai Super Kings, after an ordinary outing in their first match against Delhi Capitals, now face a formidable Punjab Kings in Mumbai.

In the second round of matches, Chennai Super Kings, after an ordinary outing in their first match against Delhi Capitals, now face a formidable Punjab Kings in Mumbai. While the three-time champions CSK started their campaign with a loss, PBKS snatched out a narrow win against Rajasthan Royals. But when the two teams meet on Friday, Punjab will seem to hold a slight edge, while on the other hand Chennai have a lot to sort out to be able to register a win.

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Chennai Super Kings

The batting unit seems to be doing fine for the team, with the likes of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran and Suresh Raina firing all cylinders in their previous outing against Delhi. But the batting order of MS Dhoni, and more importantly his form seems to be a worry. Although the skipper has just failed in one match, but it doesn’t look like he is enjoying himself in the middle. Apart from that there are woes galore for the bowlers. Despite having some experienced bowlers in their ranks, they failed to defend 189. Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja and Curran, all went for plenty of runs. For now it looks like they would like to go with Lungi Ngidi in the pace department and get in a replacement for Deepak Chahar as well.

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Punjab Kings

KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda were excellent with the bat in the previous outing against Royals. Opening the batting, Rahul played a captain’s knock of 91 off just 50 balls. He was ably supported by big-hitting Chris Gayle (40 off 28) and Deepak Hooda (64 off 28). Just like CSK, it is not batting, but their bowling that is an area of concern. Even though young Arshdeep Singh (3/35) eventually emerged as Punjab’s saviour — with RR needing 13 runs off the last over — the left-arm pacer gave away just eight runs to pull off a fine win for his team, he didn’t get enough support from other bowlers.

Veteran Mohammad Shami (2/33) had a decent outing, but the performance of Australian pace duo of Jhye Richardson (1/55) and Riley Meredith (1/49) should be a concern for Punjab, having shelled out Rs 22 crore for their services. Most likely, England’s Chris Jordan will come in for Meredith, who is a specialist death bowler.

WHEN: 16th April, 7:30 PM IST

WHERE: Mumbai, India

TELECAST: StarSports

LIVE STREAMING: Hotstar

CSK Team News

South African pacer Lungi Ngidi will be available to play the second match after completing the quarantine. He might come in for Faf du Plessis, and Ambati Rayudu could be sent in to open with Gaikwad.

PBKS Team News

The could be a couple of changes in the bowling department for the team. Riley Meredith could be lept out, and Jordan could be brought in. Also, sensation Ravi Bishnoi could be opted for M Ashwin.

Possible Playing XI CSK

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, H Reddy, Lungi Ngidi

Possible Playing XI PBKS

PBKS: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh

Quotes

CSK: A lot depended on dew, and that factor played on our mind from the start. That’s why we wanted to get as many runs as possible. The batters the did a good job to reach 188, because it was tacky until dew settled in 40 to 50 minutes later. We could have bowled slightly better, if batters are hitting you over the fields, that’s fair enough. The execution of the bowlers was poor and there were boundary balls that they bowled. But the bowlers will have learned and they will apply that in the future games — MS Dhoni after match against Delhi.

PBKS: I didn’t stop believing in the team, and we knew a couple of wickets will bring us back. The game went deep only because me included, we dropped some sitters. We bowled well until about 11-12 overs. We’re used to this, and it’s not something new for us, but a win like this brings the team together — KL Rahul after match versus Rajasthan.

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first published:April 16, 2021, 12:01 IST