regular-article-logo Saturday, 09 December 2023

IPL 2023: Chance for batters to flex muscle

Spotlight on Mahendra Singh Dhoni fitness as Chennai Super Kings battle injuries

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 17.04.23, 06:36 AM
Chennai Super Kings’ Devon Conway (left) and Moeen Ali during the team’s practice session in Bangalore on Sunday. They play RCB on Monday.

Chennai Super Kings’ Devon Conway (left) and Moeen Ali during the team’s practice session in Bangalore on Sunday. They play RCB on Monday. Picture courtesy: CSK

Chennai Super Kings resemble a hamstrung unit with multiple players battling injuries. What's worse is that the man on whom they could rely to work their way around such obstacles is not hundred per cent fit either. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennai's solution to most problems, is himself nursing a knee injury.

It is unclear if Dhoni needs rest or can continue marshalling his team despite the niggle, but Chennai do face a tough task of getting the better of Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore on Monday.


RCB appear to be in better shape at the moment and in home conditions, they will back themselves to outsmart Chennai, irrespective of Dhoni's injury status.

Deepak Chahar, Ben Stokes, Sisanda Magala and Simarjeet Singh are all out injured. Chennai's fast-bowling arsenal is badly hit and they might decide to include Matheesa Pathirana, who has recently recovered from Covid-19, in the playing XI on Monday. Young Pathirana is a slinger in the Lasith Malinga mould, but expecting too much from him in his first appearance this season against a line-up that has the likes Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Glen Maxwell will perhaps be unfair.

Chennai will look to make up for their weak fast-bowling with class spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner.

Batting-wise, the Dhoni brigade has been doing decently with young Ruturaj Gaikwad and veteran Ajinya Rahane providing the sparks.

RCB, on the other hand, will once again want their openers — Kohli and Du Plessis — to make the job of the other batters easier. It is in fact a problem for the Bangalore side that if their top two don't fire, the rest of the batting line-up looks ordinary.

The RCB bowlers have not performed in every match, but even then, in Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga, they have able hands. Local boy Vijaykumar Vyshak too impressed in their last match.

With both teams having some good batsmen, runs aplenty can be expected on Monday, more so because the Chinnaswamy track is usually friendlier to the batters.

Today’s match

■ RCB vs CSK at Chinnaswamy, Bangalore, 7.30pm. Live on Star Sports & Jio Cinema

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