About the Match
With the Indian Premier League underway in the UAE, the focus has truly shifted to the cricketing talent rather than the several controversies that clouded teams like the Chennai Super Kings. The 3rd match of the tournament will see Chennai take on Kings XI Punjab at Abu Dhabi on Apr 18 and both teams are looking to rise from the ashes this season. While the Mohali team didn’t retain its earlier squad except a couple of players, who have been key resources for them, the Chennai team also saw big changes with some of the regular players not getting picked. Mohali is trying to rebuild the team and will try new strategies this time whereas Chennai, which has been the most consistent in terms of performance, will need to strengthen its foundation and adjust quickly to the reshuffle.
Chennai Super Kings
Though players like Michael Hussey, Albie Morkel and Murali Vijay aren’t part of the team, CSK has big overseas inclusions like Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and Samuel Badree. Together with the Indian talent like Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Ishwar Pandey, Suresh Raina and the captain cool himself MS Dhoni, this team will be a tough one to beat as ever. While the regular players will provide the foundation, Dhoni has several options at hand for the opening pair of batsmen and in the bowling attack. McCullum has been sturdy in recent tournaments and so has Faf du Plessis, who has been a rock solid pillar for the Proteas many a times. Jadeja, Ashwin and Raina performed well in the World T20 and will be key assets. Samuel Badree, the legspinner will have many a tricks up his sleeve and together with the Indian spinners, the bowling attack will be a tough one to withstand.
Kings XI Punjab
Showing faith in Manan Vohra’s capabilities, the team retained him this season along with David Miller, who was the leading scorer for the team last year; Vohra has had a good domestic season and will try to prove his strengths this time around. George Bailey, who has mastered this format of the game and can lead from the front, will be captaining the side and with players like Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Thisara Perera and Shaun Marsh, the team has a good batting depth. Mitchell Johnson will lead the bowling attack and will be joined by old-timers like Murali Kartik, Lakshimapathi Balaji and many youngsters who have been performing well in T20 matches. Sehwag will bring his experience and powerful skills to the table while Pujara will look to provide a solid foundation. Hendricks and Maxwell will support Johnson with the ball whereas the youngsters need good guidance from the seniors to prove their abilities. Overall, the team is excited about this season and will be motivated to do well this time.
While team Mohali has the expertise and overseas talent to its advantage, Chennai has worked as a tight knit unit for a long time now and will definitely have the edge in this game. Though Kings XI has good batting strength, some of their players still need to prove themselves in this format; CSK go in as favourites here and with their proven track record, have better chances of winning this match.
Chennai Super Kings, 1.72 @ Bet365