Chennai, Apr 5 : After losing their previous match to Mumbai Indians, the first loss this year after three successive wins, defending Champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) would be keen to get back to the winning ways when it takes on Kings XI Punjab in its third home Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 here on Saturday.
The pitch at the M A Chidambaram stadium would once again be the focus of attention after it came under criticism from both CSK Skipper 'Captain cool' M S Dhoni and Virat Kohli after RCB was skittled out for a mere 70 runs in the tournament opener last week.
The wicket for the second match was quite better, in which CSK romped home by eight runs against Rajasthan Royals, with Dhoni scoring a belligerent 46-ball 75, before the bowlers came into action to fashion a thrilling win.
It would be a different situation tomorrow as it would be a day match and the scorching sun was expected to make the wicket even more batsmen-friendly and the spinners were expected to be the key for both the teams. Both the teams have three wins from four matches. It was some sort of a home coming for Kings XI skipper and offie R Ashwin, who was part of the CSK till last season, and the local man would be keen make his presence felt with a victory. The contest was expected to be a battle of minds between Dhoni and KXI captain R Ashwin and both the teams have quality batsmen who could change the game in a matter of few balls. Though there were some injury concerns for fast bowler Dwayne Bravo, CSK appeared to have the edge against Punjab considering it has the home advantage, with Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, and Kedhar Jadhav were among the runs.
The bowlers, especially the spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir have delivered well. But the main concern was the form of opener Ambati Rayudu who was yet to get into his groove. It was not clear whether the CSK would be tempted to bring in local hero Murali Vijay for Rayudu at the top of the order.
KXIP too have very good spinner with Ashwin leading from the front with good support from leg spinner M Ashin Mujeeb Ur Rahman and C V Varun. The batting appeared solid with Chris Gayle, though did not play the last match, appearing in very good nick and the team has the likes of K L Rahulm, Mayank AGarwal, Karun Nair, Englishman
Sam Curran, who excelled both with the bat and ball.
CSK : MS Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan, Scott Kuggeleign.
Kings XI : Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agrawal, Karun Nair, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, David Miller, Sam Curran, Varun Chakaravarthy, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mandeep Singh, Simran Singh.