Mumbai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK), after a poor start in IPL 2021 will take on formidable Punjab Kings led by skipper KL Rahul on Friday at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. CSK have their work cut out as they take on resilient Punjab Kings in their second match of the IPL 2021 on Friday.
The MS Dhoni-led side displayed an awful performance on the field in their first match against Delhi Capitals, dropping catches and bowling too many poor deliveries. CSK have had too many ageing cricketers in their jersey. That apart, many of the players, including skipper MS Dhoni, haven't played enough cricket in recent times which is why they appear rusty. CSK's spin department Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali also looked ineffective.
With the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, the Yellow Army will look to revive the form. Not to forget they have Sam Curran in their side.
The pitch won’t be changing character at Wankhede and hence, batting second should be the way forward for both clubs.
Punjab Kings on the other hand survived a scare from Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson, who hit a ton, in their first match as they held on to win the game by a little margin even after having put up 221.
PK looks a dominant in batting. Deepak Hooda was pushed up the batting order, to No 4 gave justice by scoring a 28-ball 64. With Hooda shining, the top six of the line-up looks completely packed with power. KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Hooda, Nicholas Pooran and Shahrukh Khan are batsmen who can hit big while Mayank Agarwal can provide the steady hand. The only concern for PK would be the Australian pace duo Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson, who were thumped for runs. One of those Aussies may warm the bench while giving a way to spinner Ravi Bishnoi.
The two sides have already experienced contrasting fortunes in their respective tournament starter.
CSK: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C and WK), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (C and WK), Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith/Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami