Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab – IPL 5 – Match Preview
Following the heartache from their previous game against Mumbai India, Kings XI Punjab will be eager to make amends when they take on Chennai Super Kings in the 37th match of the Indian Premier League 5, played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk,
Chennai, today, April 28th, 2012.
The slip up by the Kings XI was hardly foreseen after they had amassed 168, following impressive batting displays from stand-in-skipper David Hussey and David Miller. The former played his best knock of the tournament so far, contributing 68 off 40, while
Miller also rose to the task well with a superlative blitz of his own (34 off 17).
With 32 required off 12, Punjab was on course for a much-needed victory before Robin Peterson and Ambati Rayudu's combined together to snatch victory for their franchise. The penultimate over, bowled by Piyush Chawla, went for a whopping 27, leaving just
five off the last over – a task they completed with a ball to spare.
The morale sapping defeat has left the Punjab outfit second from bottom on the league’s table, and they simply cannot afford to extend their losing streak. They have been batting well, scoring in excess of 160 in three previous games, but the team’s inability
to play as a unit has cost them dearly.
Despite defeat, Adam Gilchrist has backed his players to come good, especially Chawla, and they will certainly take positives from their showings from the last match. Gilchrist might need a little more time to recover but his absence has given youngsters
in Nitin Saini and Mandeep Singh to share the limelight, and to their credit - both have done justice to the opening berth, providing relatively solid starts.
With Hussey returning to form, it has also stabilized an otherwise thin middle-order, and their next task will be put in an all-round performance against the defending champions.
The bowling department might see a change following last game’s antics, but with the squad lacking depth – it remains unlikely. However, the franchise will be eager to see Praveen Kumar taking added responsibility, as he has taken just 2 wickets from 8 matches.
Chennai, after a slow start, have quietly leapfrogged into the top four, and their think tanks will be more than relieved with their current scenario, despite obvious lack of fluency in their game. The reassuring fact for them lies in their ability to handle
pressure – ‘been there, done that’ certainly implies for the defending champions, and one could surely bank on them to get the desired results.
Faf Du Plessis has been their mainstay, along with his compatriot Albie Morkel. The former has filled the so-called dependability role, left void by Michael Hussey, while the latter has been key in the latter stages. Morkel will return to the team after
missing a couple of matches, following the death of his close friend, and will take his place in the lower-order, replacing either Doug Bollinger or Nuwan Kulasekara, both of whom have done relatively good work in his absence.
Suresh Raina’s form will be a concern. The leading IPL run-scorer has managed just 138 runs from the first seven games, but the Super Kings will be hoping that he gets runs under his belt in the coming games – helping the franchise build momentum as the
enter the business end of the league.
The pitch at Chepauk will be on the slower side, so anything above 150 will be considered as ‘game-on’.