IPL 2012 preview: Kings XI Punjab aim to bounce back against Chennai Super Kings

Having lost five of their eight matches so far in the tournament, Kings XI Punjab would have to play out of their skins if they intend to topple the hosts AFP

By R Eswar

Chennai: Apr 27, 2012

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) would look to put behind the disappointment of their dismal performance against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the last game and make amends when they take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Chennai on Saturday.

Punjab would be eager to forget their last match when they were thrashed by the Mumbai Indians as Ambati Rayudu (34) and Robin Peterson (16) creamed leg-spinner Piyush Chawla for 27 runs in the penultimate over to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

But it would be a difficult proposition for the low-on-confidence Punjab outfit to tame the ‘Men in Yellow’ in their own den.

Not just their last match, as it is, Kings XI team’s performance has been cause of worry.

Having lost five of their eight matches so far in the tournament, they are fully aware that they would have to play out of their skins if they intend to topple the hosts.

Their misery is compounded by the absence of skipper Adam Gilchrist, out with a hamstring injury, who is still a doubtful starter for tomorrow’s match.

But KXIP would be banking heavily on stand-in-skipper David Hussey, whose unbeaten 68-run knock in the last match helped Kings XI post a competitive total against Mumbai Indians.

Besides Hussey, another Australian Shaun Marsh has also been amongst runs but the other batsmen require to take the centre stage in order to give some boost to Kings XI’s batting.

They would also be hoping for the bowlers, especially Chawla, to raise their game and deliver.

On the other hand, Super Kings will be riding high on confidence following back-to-back victories over Pune Warriors India and Rajasthan Royals before their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rains.

Defending champions though have had mixed fortunes so far in the league with four wins and three losses.

But such a situation is not alien to the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side. In the last IPL also Super Kings fought back brilliantly by winning seven out of their last nine league matches to qualify for the play offs.

South African duo of opener Francois du Plessis and all-rounder Albie Morkel have been key players for the Super Kings with Dhoni himself living up to his reputation of a clinical finisher with the bat.

Du Plessis has been a revelation with the bat.

But the form of Suresh Raina is matter of grave concern.

He has been off colour in this edition till now, scoring just 138 runs from seven innings with a top score of 36. His failure has disappointed Super Kings much in the absence of Michael Hussey, who is away on national duty, making the middle-order little bit shaky.

The Chennai team, however, will approach the match as favourites. But Dhoni would look for a bit more discipline in the bowling department backed by some sharp fielding. (PTI)

Teams:

CSK (probable): Subramanium Badrinath, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Nuwan Kulasekara, Yo Mahesh, Albie Morkel.

KXIP (probable): Nitin Saini (wk), Siddharth Chitnis, Shaun Marsh, David Hussy (c), David Miller, Azar Mahmood, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, Bhargav Bhatt, Parvinder Awana, Praveen Kumar.

Time: 16:00 local (10:30 GMT)