IPL 2013: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders – Live IPL Score
The hurt is still fresh. Kolkata Knight Riders had busted the Chepauk myth on a balmy May night a year back and there are many in the Chennai Super Kings ranks who still believe it was nothing more than an accident that took the 2012 title away from them.
Part 1 of the revenge saga was enacted at Eden Gardens a week back, but ask the CSK fans, and they still insist, the job is only half done. On Sunday though, in the heat of Chennai, MS Dhoni’s men have the golden opportunity to complete the story and push KKR to the brink.
They have won only three out of the eight games, and with 18 points being considered a minimum cut-off for qualification, six off the last seven might be tall order for Gambhir’s boys if they lose at Chepauk.
Given the current situation, CSK are odd-on favourites to win the Sunday blockbuster. They are stronger than KKR in every department and if spin was the one area the defending champions had an upper-hand that too has been negated.
Sachitra Senanayeke, their mystery spinner from Sri Lanka, was working well in tandem with Sunil Narine, but the current political situation in Chennai has ensured that he won’t be able to play.
In such a situation, KKR might look to add a little depth to their pace attack and include the experienced Brett Lee who can at least keep the CSK top-order batsmen on their toes.
If survival is foremost on the mind of the KKR players, the priorities are quite different for the Super Kings. With six wins from eight, they are knocking the doors of qualification.
But in the current format, the top two teams get a second chance in the last-four stage and Dhoni’s boys want to win every game so that they earn one of those slots.
The opening combination of Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay has clicked, the middle-order is working like a dream, the spinners are doing their job, and if there’s any area which needs a little bit of brushing up, it’s the pace bowling front.
Albie Morkel and Dirk Nannes haven’t been available for a while due to injuries and West Indian Darren Holder hasn’t yet looked the part. Dhoni, the perfectionist, wasn’t happy that his team conceded close to 60 runs in the last four overs in the last game against Sunrisers.
“We are trying to get Nannes fit for Sunday, and if he comes back, things change quite dramatically,” bowling coach Andy Bichel said.