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High on morale but still tall order for Chennai Super Kings

Since MS Dhoni’s return as captain, CSK have won two out of their last three games
MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni
File Photo

Our Bureau   |   Published 12.05.22, 01:45 AM

Chennai Super Kings are in a precarious situation at present. Winning all their remaining three games doesn’t guarantee them a place in the play-offs. At best, Chennai will finish with 14 points if they win all the games, beginning with the one on Thursday against bottom-placed Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.

The net run rate will obviously come into play then, which implies the four-time champions need to win the rest of their matches convincingly. That their current net run rate (0.028) is still in the positive unlike that of fourth-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (-0.115) should give some sort of a lift to Chennai.

Besides, since Mahendra Singh Dhoni got re-appointed as captain midway this season, Chennai have won two out of their last three games, including a 91-run victory over Delhi Capitals. They are certainly gelling better as a unit since Dhoni’s return to captaincy.

The team’s performance against Delhi was certainly a reflection of the standards they have gone on to set over the years in the competition.

Jadeja ruled out

Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out of the remainder of IPL 2022 owing to a rib injury. Chennai announced the development late on Wednesday evening.

Jadeja’s absence, however, shouldn’t be much of a blow to Chennai as the all-rounder, in any case, was off-colour right through the tournament. Something which also forced him to hand the captaincy back to Dhoni.

Mumbai, on the other hand, have only pride to play for. But Jasprit Bumrah regaining rhythm is one aspect that could cheer them up a little bit.

So, for Chennai, tackling Bumrah will be most important. The best people who could negate the threat are their openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway, particularly the left-handed New Zealander who has been exemplary in the last few matches.

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