Chennai Super Kings will be eyeing the top spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when they face Kings XI Punjab at the Centurion Park on Thursday.
Super Kings are at the second place in the IPL and a win will help them dislodge Delhi Daredevils from the No.1 spot in the standings.
For Kings XI, it will be a chance to get back to winning ways after suffering a massive defeat to defending champions Rajasthan Royals Tuesday. It was a pathetic bowling display by the Kings XI as Rajasthan Royals went on to become the first team to get past the 200-run mark in the second edition of the IPL.
Last year’s runners-up Super Kings are on a three-match winning streak and if Kings XI come up with another poor bowling attack then the Chennai team will surely get a chance to extend its winning spree, which was done by Deccan Chargers early on in the innings.
For Super Kings, there is some good news. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and key all-rounder Albie Morkel will be fit for the match against Kings XI.
Dhoni suffered a painful blow on his forefinger while attempting to play a shot against fast bowler Rudra Pratap Singh of the Deccan Chargers.
Team manager VB Chandrasekar said: “There is a slight swelling on the forefinger. But he should recover in time for the clash against Kings XI.”
Morkel had his ankle strapped during the second half of the game against Deccan Chargers. Chandrasekar said the South African all-rounder has been carrying the niggle all through the tournament, but should be fully fit for the next game.
Both Dhoni and Morkel played crucial innings in Super Kings win over the formidable Deccan Chargers and will be looking to carry the same form against Kings XI.
But it will be poor fielding that will be a worry for Super Kings captain Dhoni. Against Deccan Chargers, Super Kings’ butter fingered fielders dropped as many as four easy catches and made a mockery of a run out opportunity.
Dhoni might be happy with his team’s batting but not with his bowlers and fielders.
“It’s important that the sooner you wake up, the better it is. As is evident, we have generally managed to put 160-plus in all the matches till now. But it’s the bowling and the fielding that is letting us down. The guys must look to put their 100 per cent effort,” he said.
Kings XI Punjab after their crushing defeat against Rajasthan Royals are down but not out. The batting, which is Kings XI’s strong point, let them down while the inexperienced bowling attack was too wayward.
Against Super Kings, Kings XI can’t afford to make too many errors.