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CSK Vs KXIP: CSK looks to get on the top of the table

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 • Tamil Sport News Comments
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Chennai Super Kings (CSK), considered as title favourites year after year in IPL since the inaugural tourney in 2008, has lost two successive games against the Rajasthan Royals as well as Delhi Capitals. It now takes on Kings XI Punjab in a match which would once again be merely of arithmetical significance.

The equation is simple: if CSK wins, it would again go to the top of the points tally. If KXIP manages to beat CSK, it would still not qualify for the play-off stages. CSK, DC and RCB have already entered the play-offs. Rajasthan’s defeat to Mumbai Indians (MI) on Tuesday has further dented its chance of entering the play-offs. Only Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) MI can now join the play-offs stage as the 4th team now.

CSK to aim for a high finish to the league-stage campaign

After last year’s horrible show when it became the first team to be eliminated from the tourney long before the play-offs commenced, CSK has indeed come back strongly to regain its top position (on many occasions). Loss against RR was an aberration while the loss against DC could have been averted if Gowtham hadn’t dropped Hetmyer in the 18th over. As such, CSK would surely like to finish its league-stage engagements on a high note with an emphatic win against KXIP.

Rahul, Mayank, Shami to deliver

Punjab would, however, want to bow out of IPL 2021 on a high not by winning against CSK. A win on Thursday hardly changes KXIP’s position as it still won’t be able to proceed further in the tournament. If it wins, it would tie with KKR and MI with 12 points. Howver, both KKR and MI have a match left which mean either of them would be the fourth team to make the play-offs after CSK, DC and RCB.

For Punbaj to flourish, its batsmen led by skipper KL Rahul, Mayank (if he plays) Gayle and Markram would have to deliver. Led by Shami and Arshdeep Singh, Punjab’s bowlers have always done their job reasonably well as only the batters have led the team down time and again, choking on a few occasions while chasing even easy targets.

CSK to check middle-order woes

As witnessed amply in its loss against DC, CSK’s brittle middle-order struggled a lot against a (disciplined) DC bowling attack. For once, both the high-scoring openers (du Plessis and Ruturaj) failed, which not only put pressure on the middle-order but also exposed its vulnerabilities. Uthappa couldn’t do much though he was picked in place of Rain, once the team’s batting mainstay. Dhoni is also not in a great form and this match presents a good opportunity for CSK to address this aspect. CSK’s ground-fielding is good overall but was criticized when Gowtham dropped a sitter on Monday, allowing DC to register an emphatic win. Touted as a probable title-winner, CSK would have to address these nitty-gritty issues if it has to march into the final without any hassles.

Probable XI:

CSK: Ruturaj, du Plessis, Rayudu, Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Hazlewood, Thakur

KXIP: Rahul, Mayank, Markram, Gayle, Hooda, Pooran, Shahrukh, Ashwin, Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Henriques, Brar

Picture Courtesy: IPLT20.COM

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