Coming on the back of a disappointing batting performance, the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will be looking to stop the winning run of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) who are without one of their most trusted warriors – Suresh Raina.
After a disappointing tournament with the Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, Shane Watson has already shown his worth as a player in the two matches that he has played for CSK. His all-round show was a reminder of the fact that there is no substitute for experience. With scores of four and 14, Suresh Raina might not have had the start he wanted, but the fact the his missing the next two games will bring to an end his record of representing CSK in 158 consecutive matches just goes on to show his value to the team.
Punjab’s batting worries continued as they collapsed against a Bangalore attack in their previous fixture. Had it not been a 33-run contribution from their captain Ravichandran Ashwin, they would have struggled to get anywhere close to a decent score. Yuvraj Singh was castled by the pace of Umesh Yadav and has reached an age where every failure will be magnified more than a success. Mayank Agarwal has also failed to replicate his domestic season form and dismal IPL record is yet to get any better.
Ravindra Jadeja might have hit the winning runs for CSK in the last game but has only bowled three overs in two games he has played so far. It might make sense for them to bring in a specialist bowler than to not utilize what Jadeja has on offer.
KXIP could consider bringing in Manoj Tiwary to add some solidity to the middle order and have Aaron Finch open the batting alongside KL Rahul. Mohit Sharma’s expensive performance with the ball could also throw Barinder Sran into the mix of things.
CSK have the edge over KXIP, having come out victorious on the last three occasions the two sides have met. On all those three occasions, it was the KXIP batting that let them down. With a new look team, they have already faced a similar situation in their last game against Bangalore and will need to pull up their socks if they are to win the battle of supremacy!
Manoj Tiwary and Barinder Sran could come in for Mayank Agarwal and Mohit Sharma.
Kings XI Punjab - KL Rahul (wk), Mayank Agarwal/ Manoj Tiwary, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Mohit Sharma/ Mohit Sharma, AJ Tye, Mujeeb ur Rahman
Murali Vijay should come in for the injured Raina while Karn Sharma could come in for Jadeja.
Chennai Super Kings – Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja/ Karn Sharma, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir.
* Aaron Finch made his debut for KXIP in the game against RCB the other night. During the process, he became the first player to represent seven teams in the IPL.
* In both their matches so far, CSK have successfully chased down 51 runs that were required of their last 24 balls.
April 15, 2018
20:00 hours IST
PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
© Cricket World 2018