CHENNAI: After a heart-stopping ‘last-ball’ victory on Saturday against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings next face a visit from early strugglers Pune Warriors on Monday. ‘Fortress Chepauk’ will be buzzing after the win over the Bangalore side with whom CSK have developed a fierce rivalry over the past five seasons.
On paper the home side looks far more settled. The normally reliable opening partnership between M Vijay and Michael Hussey may have failed on Saturday, but some strong contributions from the entire middle-order ensured CSK were able to successfully complete what looked to be a stiff chase. What will also be encouraging is the performance of the seamers in the early stages.
Although generally a strong slow-bowling outfit, CSK’s new recruits Dirk Nannes and Chris Morris have given them some bite with the new ball as well. Their performance in the Powerplay overs against RCB proved crucial ultimately.
Given the outcome, it is also very unlikely that they will make any major changes for Monday’s game.
The Warriors, on the other hand, have several decisions to make ahead of the match. Firstly, who will lead them in Chennai? With skipper Angelo Mathews ruled out due to the current political scenario, they will likely be led by either Robin Uthappa or Ross Taylor.
Overall, on paper this contest doesn’t look half as exciting as the CSK-RCB clash and it will take something special to replicate the drama of Saturday night which has to go down as one of the best finishes ever witnessed in the tournament’s history.