Friday, May 24, 2024

Revenge on CSK’s mind, LSG eye a heist in Dhoni’s bastion


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Chennai, April 22: Revenge will be on defending champions Chennai Super Kings’ minds when they host an unpredictable Lucknow Super Giants here in their reverse IPL fixture on Tuesday with both the teams desperate to break out of the mid-table logjam.
The last time the two teams faced off in Lucknow last week, KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock put up a record opening partnership which proved to be the difference as LSG joined CSK at eight points in the IPL standing.
The Super Kings have been a force to be reckoned with at home and they will look to set the record straight this time. Following the away loss, CSK will be eager to redeem themselves in the three consecutive home ties to march towards the playoffs.
For CSK, skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube have done bulk of the scoring and their failure against LSG meant they didn’t get a flying start and also struggled in the middle overs.
While opener Rachin Ravindra’s form is a concern, CSK also promoted Ajinkya Rahane as the opener and as a result, Gaikwad pushed himself a spot down to three.
Having scored three 50-plus scores as an opener so far, it would once again be a tricky call for Gaikwad to whether stick to the latest shuffle or promote himself back to the top.
While Ravindra Jadeja stepped up with a composed fifty, which allowed Moeen Ali and MS Dhoni to produce the late fireworks and give the team a fighting total, CSK would hope their top-order gets their act together before they face LSG again.
CSK’s bowling unit was at their wits end against the rampaging duo of Rahul and Quinton the other day.
Young Matheesha Pathirana was their best bowler but the onus will be on pacers Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande and Mustafizur Rahman to produce a better show when they face the same opposition again.
Left-arm spinner Jadeja too struggled and will need to step up on their home turf, having done so in the past.
For LSG, batting has been an issue but they have shown how devastating they can be if their top-order fires.
Rahul and Quinton were on a roll and they will once again have to do the heavy lifting at Chepauk. Also Nicholas Pooran has hit top gear when needed and LSG will bank on him a lot.
In bowling, LSG will hope for the return of young pace sensation Mayank Yadav, who had to sit out of two games after suffering lower abdominal strain.
Pacer Mohsin Khan and Yash Thakur did well to restrict CSK initially but found themselves in the firing line of Dhoni in the final overs, something they need to work on before they walk into his den. Matt Henry had a wicketless debut for LSG and he too will be eager to prove himself.
In the spin department, Krunal Pandya’s two wickets made a lot of difference in the middle-overs and he will have to take the lead again against CSK, while young Ravi Bishnoi will have to get over the thrashing that he received from Ali to find his mojo back.
The visitors would be fancying their chances but LSG would need consistency to pull off another win at CSK’s fortress. (PTI)


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