Chennai Super Kings with face a somewhat resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore in match number 35 of the Indian Premier League 2018 at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday. Bangalore go into the match with some degree of confidence having overcome Mumbai Indians in their previous encounter by 14 runs. Chennai faced a slight setback as they were undone by an inspired Kolkata Knight Riders.
Punjab would be disappointed that they could not chase 133 against Hyderabad. As such they would be all the more keen to get their act right against Mumbai. Chris Gayle has proved to be their trump card so far with 252 runs in four innings. His opening partner too has excelled along with the talented Karun Nair.
Punjab’s positive could also prove to be their weakness though. Apart from the top order, the middle order has rarely got a look in. Yuvraj Singh has had to be benched owing to his lack of form. In the bowling, they are lucky to have the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Andrew Tye apart from Ashwin himself. Ankit Rajpoot will, in fact, go in with a five-for to show in the last game.
While Punjab were lucky to get an extended break, Mumbai would have been desperately seeking one. They just haven’t been in their elements apart from the two wins. Consistency in their batting has been their biggest issue. In both the games that skipper Rohit Sharma has fired, Mumbai have won rather convincingly. But, it hasn’t been enough to keep Mumbai in a decent position on the points table.
They have suffered in a big way due to the massive failures of the likes of Kieron Pollard in particular. The bigger seems like a man past his prime. The same is definitely not the case with the Pandya brothers. But, they have been equally disappointing. Suryakumar Yadav is the only one to have made an impact with the bat. Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal have been efficient with the ball. Again it has not been enough.
Played 20. Punjab 10, Mumbai 10
Head-to-Head in Indore
Played 1. Punjab 0, Mumbai 1
Kings XI Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Akshdeep Nath, Mayank Agarwal, Mayank Dagar, Ben Dwarshuis, Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Manzoor Dar, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Lokesh Rahul (W), Ankit Rajpoot, Pradeep Sahu, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Marcus Stoinis, Manoj Tiwary, Andrew Tye, Yuvraj Singh
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Akila Dananjaya, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Sharad Lumba, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, MD Nidheesh, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, Aditya Tare (W), Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav
One of the key reasons behind Chennai’s loss against Kolkata was their rather surprisingly poor fielding. One of their best Ravindra Jadeja put down to two simple chances. Bowling is another area which would worry Chennai. They have failed to defend targets. Dwayne Bravo, somehow, has not been the same with the ball while Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh. Take out, Lungi Ngidi and KM Asif, and they have nothing much to show.
It is their batting that had been so incredibly brilliant in this IPL. Skipper MS Dhoni has led from the front with the bat. He once again showed his exemplary skills against Kolkata. The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, and Suresh Raina have all been chipping in well constantly to ensure Chennai keep putting up runs on the board.
Although Bangalore go into Saturday’s tussle with a win under their belt, they still have their task cut out. Bangalore’s death bowling was highly impressive against Mumbai, which was one of the key reasons behind their victory. Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav were very impressive with the new ball, and even Mohammad Siraj for his act right after the pasting in the match against Chennai. Slowly by surely, Yuzvendra Chahal has also found his groove.
Bangalore’s batting has also significantly improved although they would be keen to have AB de Villiers back. Virat Kohli keeps churning out the big scores. Quinton de Kock had hit form. And, in the last game, Manan Vohra also contributed with a blazing innings. They would want things to come together similarly against Chennai.
Played 21. Chennai won 13, Bangalore won 7, No result 1
Head-to-Head record at MCA stadium
The two teams have never played against each other here
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C) (W), KM Asif, Sam Billings, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Narayan Jagadeesan, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Lungi Ngidi, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Kanishk Seth, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, David Willey, Mark Wood
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Moeen Ali, Corey Anderson, Murugan Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aniket Choudhary, Colin de Grandhomme, Quinton de Kock (W), Pavan Deshpande, AB de Villiers, Aniruddha Joshi, Sarfaraz Khan, Kulwant Khejroliya, Brendon McCullum, Mandeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Pawan Negi, Parthiv Patel, Navdeep Saini, Tim Southee, Manan Vohra, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav