The last eight matches between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League have been lopsided with MS Dhoni's men winning seven of those. However, the same cannot be said when the two southern teams face off against each other at the Dubai International Stadium in the second game of the double header on Saturday.
Coach Stephen Fleming has been openly admitted that it has taken them time to get the muddled thinking right with regards to the combination. The three-time champions' major concern is their middle-order. Chasing in all the six matches this season, they couldn't cross the finish line in four matches despite coming close to it. The inability of the likes of Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav to finish matches is hurting the team especially after a good start by the openers.
At the top, Faf du Plessis has been consistent and will be pleased to see his partner Shane Watson find his lost touch. Sitting sixth in the points table just below Bangalore, Chennai should address their weakest link -- middle-order -- at the earliest to avoid slipping further and move up the ladder.
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Bangalore also has a similar problem with the team relying mostly on the top four for runs. The likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have all been amongst runs. However, if they don't fire, the team finds itself in an uncomfortable position which was evident in their two losses. If Chennai dismiss the top-order and the big-hitting De Villiers early in the game, Bangalore might be in trouble.
As far as bowling is concerned, Chennai seem to have found the rhythm in the last couple of games and would aim to continue their performance. For Kohli & Co, death bowling continues to be a problem this season too. The team might bring in all-rounder Chris Morris in place of Moeen Ali or pacer Isuru Udana on Saturday to strengthen their bowling.
While the spinners -- Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal -- have kept the opponents at bay, the pacers have been found wanting. Both Udana and Navdeep Saini, who have picked up eight wickets between them in five matches, have conceded more than 10 runs per over.