CSK vs PBKS IPL 2021 Preview: 7th Oct - After back-to-back defeats, Dhoni's CSK look to get back to best
Punjab's chances of playoff qualification are hanging by a thread.
PBKS don't have a realistic chance
Although the team is not technically out of the playoffs race, one cannot see how they have a realistic chance of qualification. Punjab have to win their last match by a massive margin to give a boost to their net run rate and then hope that the other competing teams, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians lose all the remaining matches, which isn't possible with MI facing RR.
The KL Rahul-led side has no one but themselves to blame. They have been in winning positions on several occasions but have allowed things to slip away out of their grasp.
Themselves to blame
Even in their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, chasing 165, they were comfortably placed at 91 for no loss in the 11th over. However, once KL Rahul got dismissed, panic set in. Mayank Agrawal has been doing a fine job for the side and scored 57 off 42 deliveries in the last match.
Despite the loss, Punjab are not expected to make a lot of changes to their playing XI. The only possible change could be to bring in Deepak Hooda in place of Harpreet Brar but, then again, the young spinner did not do a lot wrong in the last match.
The thing that Punjab need to correct is to go a bit harder from the outset and not leave things for the last ball, particularly while chasing.
Chennai brought in Robin Uthappa in place of Suresh Raina who is carrying a niggle. With a short turnaround, Uthappa is set to retain his spot.
Chennai would like to win their last match to ensure that they make it to Qualifier 1 and have another opportunity in case of a slip up in the knockouts.
It was a shambolic performance with the bat from Chennai in their last match. The fact that they still had the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Dwayne Bravo in the hut and were still circumspect of going hard after the 15th over is befuddling.
For all the tactical nous of MS Dhoni, he certainly should have shown a lot more intent. Making 18 off 27 deliveries in a T20 innings however tricky the pitch maybe is not justified. Unlike the last match, CSK are expected to be a lot more explosive against Punjab.
Predicted playing XIs
Chennai Super Kings - Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Punjab Kings - KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda/Harpreet Brar, Moises Henriques, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi
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