PBKS vs CSK IPL 2021 Preview: Chennai look to make amends against confident Punjab
Chennai Super Kings, under MS Dhoni, have all the ingredients to make the playoffs this time if they can get their execution right.
Punjab gain confidence with winning start
Punjab Kings have this knack of being part of close matches. With fortune not on their side, they lost almost all of these close affairs in IPL 2020. However, the change in year has probably brought a change in the fortune of Punjab Kings as they were finally able to win a close affair against Rajasthan in their first outing of IPL 2021.
The highlight of Punjab's batting performance was KL Rahul who started off slowly but made up for it later, making 91 off just 50 deliveries at a strike rate of 182. Chris Gayle also did well with a 28-ball 40 with 4 fours and 2 sixes, going at a strike rate of 142.86.
Murugan Ashwin to bear the brunt
It was Deepak Hooda who changed the course of the match, blasting 64 off just 28 balls to take Punjab to 221. Although the PBKS bowlers were short of the mark, with Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Murugan Ashwin all going at over 10 RPO, Mohd Shami and Arshdeep Singh were sensational and shared 5 wickets between them, with both bowling at an economy of under 9 RPO, to pull the match back.
Punjab will consider bringing in Ravi Bishnoi in place of spinner Murugan Ashwin who looked out of sorts against Rajasthan and struggled to find the right length.
Ngidi a consideration but CSK likely to stick with Curran, Bravo
Chennai have Lungi Ngidi available for selection after having gone through the mandatory seven day quarantine.
However, with both Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo doing well in the last match, they are unlikely to make any changes. That both provide batting ammunition can not be ignored.
Onus on Raina, Rayudu
Suresh Raina starred with a half-century on IPL comeback in Chennai's first match. At the same time, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran showed what they are capable of, scoring 36 off 24 balls and 34 off 15 balls respectively. Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja also got starts and made 20s.
Shardul Thakur got two wickets but was quite expensive and will look to rectify that this time around. If Chennai can get their act together, they have a decent team this time around to qualify for the playoffs.
Here are the predicted playing XIs:
Chennai Super Kings - Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Punjab Kings - KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi/Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
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