Before the IPL kickoff, Chennai Super Kings received a major blow with the injury to Mitchell Santner. Following the start of the tournament, their star players like Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav and Suresh Raina also suffered telling injuries.
Things only have gone against the Super Kings, as their home venue got shifted to Pune for the rest of the tournament. However, against all the odds, CSK holds the top spot on the Points Table by winning both their games in the tournament.
The opening combination of Rayudu and Watson showed their class in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai.
CSK reached the 75-run mark in the powerplay, which was the most in the tournament during the six-over period. Rayudu gave able support to Watson at the other end with his 26-ball 39.
Shane Watson was simply unstoppable with the bat, as he smashed a lighting 42 off just 19 balls, consisting of three boundaries and an equal number of maximums.
Sam Billings played the best knock of his IPL career, thus far, against KKR. CSK were under pressure with the steeping required run-rate.
However, the Englishman changed the game with his hard-hitting 23-ball 56 which brought the men in yellow, right back into the game.
With this performance, Billings earns a spot at number three with Suresh Raina out of action due to an injury.
MS Dhoni (C and WK)
Both MSD and Billings stitched a valuable partnership which kept CSK in the hunt during the 200 plus run-chase against KKR. The only point of concern would be the number of balls Dhoni faces to get going.
Dhoni took 28 balls to score his 25 runs which consisted of one four and six, before being bamboozled by Piyush Chawla.
Shorey holds a reputation for being a big hitter and the Delhi batsman would want to grab the opportunity with both hands in the star-studded CSK lineup.
Ravindra Jadeja kept his calm and delivered the final blow with a towering six over mid-on. Jadeja has been used selectively with the ball by Dhoni during two games played in the tournament.
Chennai Super Kings‘ would hope their marquee player comes good with both bat and ball with the injury concerns plaguing within their camp.
Dwayne Bravo felt the wrath of Andre Russell’s bat while he was bowling at the death. The Trinidadian smacked a crucial blow in the ultimate over which pulled the pendulum towards their favour.
Not to forget, DJ Bravo was adjudged as the man of the match in the game against MI where he single-handedly helped his side cross the finishing line with both bat and ball.
CSK have two match-winning all-rounders in their camp going by the names of Bravo and Watson.
MS Dhoni has an interesting tactic of using his bowlers in one over spells while his overseas stars complete their quota of four overs during the backend of the innings.
Chahar, after getting smacked for 18 in an over by Lynn and Narine, did not quite have the opportunity to hold the ball after but would enjoy the conditions of Mohali.
It would be interesting how he copes up playing at his domestic cricket home ground.
All the four overseas players in the CSK squad are impact players and proven match-winners. It would be a face-off between Wood or Tahir, depending on the conditions in Mohali.
However, Dhoni would want to go ahead with the wrist spinning option of Tahir who was economical in the previous game against KKR, in a high scoring affair.
Picture Credits: IPLT20.com