IPL 2020: Will Chennai’s farewell spell Punjab’s doom?
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will lock horns with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in match number 53 of the Indian Premier League (IPL)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have, in the past, played games which have had no effect in their qualification. But all of those have been after they have ensured themselves a play-of berth. The story is a bit different this season as CSK are the only team to have been knocked out of the tournament so far. This essentially reduces their last game of the season against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to a game they will play for their pride and their fans.
The case however, is not the same for KL Rahul’s KXIP. Their loss against the Rajasthan Royals in the last game meant that they don’t have their fate in their own hands anymore, but that in no way, means that their chances are bleak. All they need to do is come out on top against MS Dhoni’s CSK and keep an eye out for other results. Their chances have been further bolstered by the poor run of Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, both of whose net run-rates have now fallen below that of KXIP.
Out of all the teams that can end on 14 points, Sunrisers are the only one with a better NRR than KXIP. SRH have their last game against the mighty Mumbai Indians, and that would help calm skipper KL Rahul’s nerves.
KXIP might have lost to Rajasthan Royals after the latter’s spirited chase, but the skipper defended his bowlers strongly, putting the blame on the heavy dew. This should mean that they will continue with the same XI, unless Mayank Agarwal is fit for the game.
CSK might fancy playing an extra pacer in Shardul Thakur, replacing Karn Sharma. Spinners turning the ball into the duo of Chris Gayle and Nicolas Pooran in the middle overs is a fearsome thought in itself.
CSK’s fans would want a fitting farewell, for many who might not be seen again in yellow, but this would translate to a knockout for Punjab. This further raises the stakes in an already high-tension game.
CSK: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, N Jagadeesan, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma/Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi
KXIP: KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh