IPL 2021: CSK eye improved bowling effort against formidable Punjab Kings
Chennai Super Kings are determined to shed their baggage from the last season in the UAE when they finished seventh in the eight-team competition. They have Suresh Raina back this season, which provides solidity in their middle-order.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men are playing their first five games at the Wankhede in Mumbai where the conditions are vastly different to that of their home turf Chepauk. On a much quicker surface, CSK lost their opening match against Delhi Capitals despite scoring 188.
They will look to tick the right boxes when they face Punjab Kings, who snatched a last-ball win against Rajasthan Royals in their opener, on Friday. For the second match running, CSK will have to manage without Lungi Ngidi and Jason Behrendorff as both are unavailable because of quarantine norms.
CSK would look up to their inspirational captain Dhoni and hope for a much-improved bowling effort to log their first points in the table. Their bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan and would have liked more pace options in their XI. But with both Ngidi and Behrendorff unavailable, Imran Tahir could be worth trying out.
The likes of Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali all went for big runs and looked rusty.
With the dew playing a crucial role at the Wankhede, the side winning the toss would want to bowl first. Despite failures from the opening duo of Rituraj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, CSK managed to put up a decent total on the board. But their bowling unit looked completely clueless.
Punjab Kings’ batting is quite formidable as was evident in their opener. KL Rahul played a captain’s knock of 91 off just 50 balls and was well supported by Chris Gayle (40 off 28) and Deepak Hooda (64 off 28).
Like CSK, their bowling too remains an area of concern. Royals skipper Sanju Samson almost single-handedly took the game away from Punjab Kings with his whirlwind 119. Young Arshdeep Singh (3/35) eventually emerged as Punjab Kings’ saviour.