Updated April 30th, 2024 at 11:42 IST

CSK eye all-round stability against unpredictable PBKS

An inconsistent Chennai Super Kings will have to display all-round solidity when they face an unpredictable Punjab Kings in their Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.

CSK Makes Record in T20 Cricket | Image:IPL
Advertisement

 An inconsistent Chennai Super Kings will have to display all-round solidity when they face an unpredictable Punjab Kings in their Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.

The Super Kings have 10 points from nine matches, similar figures as that of Lucknow Super Giants, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals, and the defending champions would certainly like to breakaway from that mid-table gridlock with a win.

Advertisement

However, the defending champions will be a worried lot as Punjab Kings, who have six points from nine games, are coming to this match after scaling down 262 against Kolkata Knight Riders, the highest chase in the history of T20 cricket.

But the Chepauk deck is a different beast, offering a semblance of assistance to the bowlers and it was evident in CSK’s impressive 78-run win over SRH in their previous match.

Advertisement

There was no dew in Chennai on that night, and the CSK bowlers defanged SRH’s potent batting unit with their accuracy and variations after their batters put on board a 200-plus total.

They need an encore against Punjab, and all eyes will be on skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad, who is on a hot streak.

Advertisement

Gaikwad has registered scores of 108 and 98 in his last two innings and New Zealand man Daryl Mitchell too seemed to have regained his touch at just the right time with a 32-ball 52 against Hyderabad.

However, the real storm-force in the CSK line-up is Shivam Dube, who has pulverised the opposition bowlers while coming as an Impact Sub.

Advertisement

While Dube has always been a spin-basher, the left-hander has now added another angle to his batting with his effective tackling of pacers.

Dube so far has made 350 runs, second highest for CSK behind Gaikwad’s 447, and those runs came at a strike-rate of 172.41, second only to MS Dhoni’s 259.45.

Advertisement

However, the CSK opening combination continues to be a bit iffy. Gaikwad has been a solid presence but both now-dropped Rachin Ravindra and Ajinkya Rahane have not been able to play the support role to their skipper.

Rahane’s last four outings as opener produced scores of 5, 36, 1, 9, and those numbers don’t reflect his experience or skill-level.

Advertisement

However, CSK in all likelihood will continue to back him.

Batting coach Michael Hussey had remarked that the 35-year-old was close to getting a big knock under his belt.

Advertisement

On the other hand, PBKS will be desperate to carry the momentum after that record chase and climb up the ladder from the current eighth place.

For that, their batters need to fire in unison once again and the onus is on Jonny Bairstow, who made a hundred against KKR, Shashank Singh and Prabhsimran Singh.

Advertisement

But they will eye a more impact outing from wicketkeeper batter Jitesh Sharma.

However, PBKS’ bowling department looks a bit shaky despite having experienced campaigners such as Kagiso Rabada, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh and Sam Curran in their ranks.

Advertisement

The visitors will also require a much-improved effort from their spinners -- Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar – as they have scalped just seven wickets among them this season.

Teams (from): CSK: Ruturaj Gaikwad (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Aravelly Avanish, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, RS Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajay Jadav Mandal, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Nishant Sindhu, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Choudhary, Mustafizur Rahman, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Prashant Solanki, Shardul Thakur, Maheesh Theekshana and Sameer Rizvi.

Advertisement

PBKS: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Matthew Short, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sikandar Raza, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Shivam Singh, Harshal Patel, Chris Woakes, Ashutosh Sharma, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Shashank Singh, Tanay Thyagarajan, Prince Choudhary, Rilee Rossouw.

Match starts: 7.30 PM. 

Advertisement

Published April 30th, 2024 at 11:34 IST