A high-voltage drama is about to unfold when MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings meet Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in a league match of IPL-6 at MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday night.
Both teams have won their previous games and are in a positive frame of mind.
Chennai with their convincing 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab may have shed the rustiness that was evident in their opening loss to Mumbai Indians. While, Bangalore are eager to consolidate against CSK after their comfortable win against Kolkata Knight Riders.
But CSK at home are a different proposition. The crowd, the atmosphere and the wicket has helped Dhoni’s side give their best and, in the past, convert half-chances into convincing victories.
A dressing-down by the cool and composed coach Stephen Fleming after his team’s loss to Mumbai has produced the desired effect.
CSK batsman are now eager and keen to perform. Openers M Vijay and Mike Hussey are in tremendous form. Against Punjab’s attack of Praveen Kumar, Ryan Harris, Parvinder Awana, Piyush Chawla and Azhar Mahmood, the duo were cautious and played to the merit of the ball and did not throw their wickets away.
Bangalore, on the other hand, will be without the services of Muttiah Muralitharan, but they do have Murali Kartik. Australia’s Moises Henriques, RP Singh, Jaydev Unadkat and Vinay Kumar comprise the attack.
Henriques with his lively pace and accuracy can stifle the CSK top order, while Vinay with his variations can be more than useful particularly at the death.
Bangalore will once again depend upon Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to put a good score on the board.
Although Gayle and Kohli are in excellent form, their past record suggests that they have not yet come to terms with the Chepauk wicket in IPL. R Ashwin in particular has subdued Gayle many a time in the past.
But coach Fleming said that it all depends upon how well a player plays on a given day. He added that both Gayle and Kohli were capable of getting a good score at Chepauk but his team had plans for them.
The wicket will be similar to the one used in the Mumbai game. It will have steady bounce and good carry. The wicket will turn slower towards the end. So batting first and putting up a good score on the board in humid conditions will be a good idea.