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The battle among the struggling teams

Sunday, October 4, 2020 • Tamil Comments
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The battle among the struggling teams

Playing two matches in 48 hours can be quite taxing: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) would be doing exactly this when it takes on Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday in UAE in the 18th match of the ongoing IPL-13 T20 cricket tournament.

It would again be a clash of table-bottomers as CSK an KXIP are at the 8th an 7th position (respectively) on the points tally, led by RCB which won its third match on Saturday. Favourites CSK has been rather off-colour this season, winning just a solitary match out of its four matches so far. CSK has suffered a hat-trick of defeats and would certainly hope to put it across against KL Rahul-led KXIP.

CSK’s woes

CSK’s cup of woes is overflowing with problems aplenty. Opening partnership hasn’t given the team the right beginning as Watson is struggling to hit form. Rayudu, who missed a couple of games after the opening encounter, is on course to bat at his best. Thankfully, MSD and Jadeja found some form in the match against SRH on Friday when CSK fell short of the margin by 7 runs. All-rounder Bravo didn’t to bat on that day.

CSK also has to brush-up its ‘death bowling’ as its bowlers had been leaking runs in the last five overs. Chahar, Thakur, Bravo form a formidable trio of pacers but would have to deliver when it matters most.

Team combination

CSK’s batting wobbles a bit in Suresh Raina’s absence; Kedar Jadhav’s no-impact batting has only added to the trouble; Jadeja is yet to find his bowling rhythm and has also not been fielding well. CSK would have to address these issues if it wants to return to its winning ways. As only four foreigners are allowed in each team, CSK has been unable to play the likes of Mitchell Santner and Imran Tahir.

MSD unfit?

In what was mighty surprising to cricket-lovers in general and Dhoni’s fans in particular, Dhoni seemed to struggle to find his timing in UAE on Friday; he was also feeling ‘dehydration’ due to the excess heat. There is an element of suspicion whether Dhoni would take the field on Sunday; if he doesn’t, du Plessis might be made the stand-in captain. Dhoni, however, sounded confident in the post-match chat. If he plays, he would have to silence his detractors who say he is ageing.

Rahul-Mayank magic

KXIP, on the other hand, won against RCB but lost Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals after being in a winning position in all these three matches. Its openers, captain Rahul and India opener Mayank Agarwal have been in sublime touch thus far; the team management would only hope that the purple patch continues for the next month or so.

Despite having the likes of Shami and Cottrell, KXIP has been unable to contain opponents as witnessed in the ‘death overs’.

All in all, it promises to be a cracking encounter between two teams which look to rediscover their winning ways!

Expected XI:

CSK: Watson, du Plessis, Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla, Sharul Thakur and Deepak Chahar

KXIP: Rahul, Mayank, Karun Nair, Pooran, Maxwell, Sarfraz Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Shami, Cottrell, M. Ashwin and Chris Jordan

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