The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 13 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Super Kings aiming for a high at ‘home’

Ranchi: Chennai Super Kings may be missing Chennai after some off-the-field developments forced the IPL governing council to shift their home games from the MA Chidambaram Stadium, but there’s no reason for their most important man to dislike Ranchi — the franchise’s makeshift ‘home’.

One assumes that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s comfort level while playing at the JSCA International Stadium, here, will be no less than what he enjoys while leading the side in front of boisterous fans in Chennai. If Dhoni is acquainted with every grass at the Chepauk courtesy seven years’ experience, he is even friendlier with Ranchi as he has grown up here.

And of course, because of Dhoni, every cricket fan in Ranchi will root for the Super Kings.

All these factors will be at play when the Super Kings face the Rajasthan Royals in an IPL VII match, here, on Tuesday. So it doesn’t seem that the Super Kings will be missing Chennai a lot and they will be the favourites because of multiple factors.

The Super Kings have so far been very professional in managing to keep all the pre-tournament distractions at a distance and that has helped them win seven of the nine matches they have played. They are tied on points with the Kings XI Punjab but are not at the top due to a slightly inferior net run rate.

Hence, moving atop the ladder will be their biggest motivation. That won’t be easy but with the Royals themselves being in pretty good form themselves. With six wins from nine games, they currently occupy the third spot.

How dangerous are the Royals? Well, the Royal Challengers Bangalore would know best. On Sunday, Virat Kohli’s team had things under control for most part of the match. But out of nowhere came Steven Smith and James Faulkner, batted like men possessed and reached the 191-run target with more than an over to spare.

So, in a way, both the teams would start as equals on Tuesday. Super Kings had come up trumps when the two teams met in the first leg. However, that probably won’t matter as such records matter little in the fickle world of T20s.