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Thriller on the cards

Cuttack: Revenge would be on top of Chennai Super Kings (CSK)’s minds when they lock horns with a formidable Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) side in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash at the Barabati Stadium, here, on Wednesday.

It was KXIP who scuttled CSK’s bid of a flying start in IPL VII when their batsmen chased down a huge total with consummate ease to launch their own campaign in style.

However, CSK did not get bogged down after the loss. Instead, they played brilliant cricket and went on to win all their matches since that loss. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys are on a roll, having won six out of seven matches, and are currently at top of the points table with 12 points.

Hot at CSK’s heels are KXIP. Having played one match less than CSK, the George Bailey-led side have won five are on 10 points.

KXIP had made a flying start to the tournament, steamrolling every opponent that came their way until their winning streak was snapped by defending champions Mumbai Indians last Saturday. No wonder then, KXIP will be eager to return to winning ways on Wednesday.

Speaking about strengths in the sides, both sides are evenly matched.

For KXIP, David Miller has often stepped up whenever his side faced trouble.

However, KXIP have so far been too dependant on Maxwell and Miller and that has hurt them at times. The openers Cheteshwar Pujara and Virender Sehwag have shared some good stands but they have not been consistent.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha came up with a sparkling 59 against Mumbai Indians in their last match but he too has to be more consistent. Captain George Bailey, on the other hand, needs to find form soon.

Among the bowlers, pacer Mohit Sharma and spinner Ravindra Jadeja have done most of the damage for CSK. (PTI)