Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will be eagerly waiting for the outcome of the Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians match, which will be played out at the Kotla from 4 pm.
If the Mumbai Indians defeat Delhi Daredevils then the second match of the Super Sunday between KXIP and CSK might become a dead rubber. But if DD happens to stage an upset then KXIP will be in contention of qualifying for the playoffs if they can defeat CSK handsomely. The only concern that KXIP will be having is that CSK has won 11 out of the 19 matches played between these two sides.
The last match that these two teams featured in was a nail-bitter with KXIP snatching a 4-run-victory. Dhoni had won the toss and had sent Punjab in on a Mohali track that was full of runs. Rahul and Gayle got off to a rollicking start with the score reading 96/1 in 8 overs when Rahul departed. Gayle continued the rampage before he was finally dismissed by Shane Watson after a well made 63 from 33 balls. Quickfire 30 from Mayank Agarwal and a blistering 29 from Karun Nair helped KXIP post a mammoth first innings score of 197/7 in their 20 overs.
In reply to this huge score, CSK got off to a really poor start losing Watson, Vijay and Billings cheaply. CSK were reeling at 56/3 when the in-form duo of Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni came together at the crease. Rayudu missed out on his half-century when he got run-out for 49 of 35 balls but MS Dhoni continued bashing the bowlers. Jadeja made a quickfire 19 from 13 deliveries but the required rate always kept climbing up. MS Dhoni then played perhaps the best innings of this year’s IPL as he smashed Mohit Sharma and Andrew Tye to all parts of the ground. Despite Dhoni’s heroics CSK finished 4 runs short of KXIP’s total.
Team News and Possible Strategies:
CSK will be under no pressure today as even if they lose to KXIP they should still be in the top two of the points table. Despite the loss against DD, CSK have a settled side and is expected to not make changes. The only change that might be possible is that Lungi Ngidi gets replaced by David Willey. Raina’s form has been a bit of concern for Dhoni and the CSK skipper will be hoping that Raina comes good in this match just before the playoffs start. Jadeja’s form with the ball as well as the bat has been really good over the past couple of matches and MS will be hoping that Jadeja continues his great form. Given that Gayle now has been dismissed twice in successive matches by short pitch bowling, we might see Willey or Ngidi firing bouncers at him.
KXIP on the other hand will be extremely concerned with the form of their middle-order. The middle-order has struggled miserably for KXIP and with Gayle not firing at the top there are some serious issues in the KXIP batting lineup. Finch’s coming back to form against the Mumbai Indians will be a relief for Ashwin. With Yuvraj Singh struggling to get even into the 20’s we might just see him being dropped again. In all probabilities Karun Nair will replace him in the middle order. We might as well see Mujeeb return to the XI in place of Stoinis. If Mujeeb returns to the playing XI, then definitely he will be used against Dhoni who has struggled against leg-spin in this tournament.
Kings XI Punjab: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ankit Rajpoot.
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Sam Billings, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, DJ Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi/David Willey and Deepak Chahar