Chennai Super Kings rarely have had such a poor start to their IPL campaign. Two losses in two matches have put them under pressure and they will be desperate to record full points when they meet Punjab Kings at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
While CSK’s batters piled up a total of 210, their bowling struggled against Lucknow Super Giants on Thursday. Head coach Stephen Fleming pointed fingers at excessive dew, but that phenomenon is here to stay. He reasoned that dew made the contest lopsided and completely took their spinners out of play.
“If you’d looked earlier on, spinning options were taken out of play. Because it was like Niagara Falls in terms of the wetness and Lucknow played well,” Fleming reasoned after the loss.
But CSK captain Ravindra Jadeja was practical. “Dew will be the vital part in this edition. If you win the toss, you will look to bowl first. There was a lot of dew.. But we will have to practice with the wet ball,” Jadeja said.
Last season’s orange cap winner Ruturaj Gaikwad is yet to make his mark and that is keeping CSK worried. But the Brabourne Stadium so far has been a batting haven in IPL 2022 with a run rate of 9.98, which should be encouraging news for Gaikwad.
The CSK bowling is feeling the absence of pacers Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne and death-over specialist Chris Jordan.
Smarting from a six-wicket defeat, Punjab Kings will be eager to return to winning ways and would expect the batters to step up. With Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa at the top, they can dominate the opposition attack with ease. Odean Smith and Shahrukh Khan are also known to be aggressive and will need to play the finisher’s role on a more consistent basis.
The addition of Kagiso Rabada to their attack have been of great help though they came up short against KKR’s Andre Russell on Friday. They would quickly need to regroup and forget the hammering and bowl in the right areas.