Brimming with confidence after a perfect start to their campaign, star-studded Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will start as favourites against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a Groub B match of the Champions League Twenty20, at Ranchi on Thursday.
Riding on its batting firepower, CSK successfully chased down a stiff target of 185 runs set by Titans with six wickets in hand to start their CLT20 campaign on a rousing note at Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) International Stadium Complex.
And come Thursday, the Chennai outfit would be hoping to carry on the winning momentum.
But it won’t be a cakewalk for local boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men as in Sunrisers they face a side who too would be eager to carry on their good work.
Two-time Indian premier League (IPL) champions, CSK boast of a star-studded line up with the likes of India skipper Dhoni, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Michael Hussey and Dwayne Bravo around whom the CSK batting will revolve.
Hussey, Raina and Bravo set up CSK’s run chase the other day with some scintillating strokeplay and the trio would be eyeing a repeat performance against the Sunrisers.
Having failed in the previous match, Dhoni is due for a big knock in front of his home crowd.
Another distinct feature about this Chennai unit is the presence of quality all-rounders in their ranks.
Players like Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Bravo and Raina are equally capable with both bat and ball and possess the ability to change the complexion of the game at any point.
They also give their skipper a variety of options while bowling apart from saving runs through their fielding.
But CSK’s bowling attack would be a cause of concern for Dhoni ahead of Thursday’s game considering the fact that all his bowlers bled runs against Titans.
Dhoni would be looking for a much-improved performance from the likes of young Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jadeja and Bravo to restrict Sunrisers to a modest score.
On the other hand, having also made a winning start to their campaign qualifiers, Sunrisers too would be high on confidence.
Chasing a challenging 160 for eight, Sunrisers rode on Thisara Perera’s unbeaten 57 to beat Trinidad and Tobago by six wickets in their first match of the main draw in Mohali on Tuesday.
Perera slammed four boundaries and as many sixes to score his runs off just 32 balls and seal a win for his side after the chase was set up by some useful contributions from the top-order.
Parthiv Patel, captain Shikhar Dhawan, JP Duminy, Darren Sammy and Hanuma Vihari all got out after getting starts and against CSK on Thursday, they would be hoping to convert their starts into big scores.
With South African speedster Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and leg-spinner Amit Mishra up their ranks, the Sunrisers possess a very incisive bowling attack.
But Steyn and Mishra looked out of sorts against Trinidad and the duo would be desperate to prove their critics wrong with noteworthy performances on Thursday.
Ishant, Perera and Sammy, who picked up two wickets apeiece against Trinidad, would be looking to carry on their good work.
Chennai Super Kings (probable): Michael Hussey, Mirali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Mohit Sharma.