Chennai Super Kings have shockingly been the most underwhelming side of IPL 2020, having produced performances contrary to their reputation and track record of the past. The yellow army lost their third consecutive game in the current IPL edition when they fell seven runs short against SunRisers Hyderabad while chasing 165 in Dubai.
CSK’s batting performance has mainly come into question as the likes of Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni have failed to produce impactful performances. The absence of Suresh Raina has hurt their chances with the bulk of pressure falling on Faf Du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu, who have been striking the ball well. Hence, they cannot afford another loss when they face Kings XI Punjab.
We take a look at CSK’s predicted playing eleven ahead of their IPL 2020 game against Kings XI Punjab:
Faf Du Plessis:
Faf Du Plessis stands third in the race for Orange Cap, having amassed 195 runs in four games. Against SRH, he opened the innings for the first time this year and looked in good nick until his unfortunate run-out. Du Plessis will likely continue to bat at the top order for SRH.
The match against Kings XI Punjab could perhaps be the final time until CSK moves on from Shane Watson. Shane Watson, who has been a stellar performer for the Super Kings in the past two seasons, has scores of 4, 33, 14, and 1 so far. The former Australian all-rounder has looked rusty and unsettled in the crease and must make a substantial score to keep his spot.
Ambati Rayudu missed the last two matches after playing a match-winning knock in the tournament opener against Mumbai Indians. Rayudu walked straight into the playing eleven; however, he was not able to make a difference. The 34-year old managed eight runs before a jaffa from T Natrajan knocked off his stumps. Super Kings would undoubtedly want him to be at his best while batting at a crucial position.
Despite no impactful innings so far, Kedar Jadhav will most likely retain his spot for the game against Kings XI Punjab. Kedar Jadhav batted at number four against the SunRisers and managed only three runs. The veteran will keep his place, mainly due to the absence of any like-for-like replacement.
MS Dhoni (wk&c):
MS Dhoni valiantly fought against the SunRisers and fatigue to take his team over the line. In the end, MS Dhoni’s unbeaten knock of 47 off 36 deliveries was not enough as he struggled to find the timely boundaries. He shared a partnership of 72 along with Ravindra Jadeja; however, there was too much to do at the end. There is indeed a case of MS Dhoni promoting himself up in the batting order, enabling him to face more balls.
Ravindra Jadeja batted in IPL 2020 for the first time for an extended period of time. Along with MS Dhoni, he shared a partnership of 72 for the fifth wicket and scored a fifty off 35 deliveries. With the ball, he only bowled two overs and gave away 16 runs and has so far proved ineffective with the ball. Jadeja should fancy his chances against a brittle batting line-up of Kings XI Punjab.
Despite the comeback of Dwayne Bravo, Chennai Super Kings decided to stuck with Sam Curran and drop Josh Hazlewood. Sam Curran proved expensive with the ball, conceding 37 runs in three overs. With the bat, the left-arm seamer clattered 15 off five deliveries; however, could not prevent the loss.
Dwayne Bravo played the first match of the tournament against the SunRisers Hyderabad and could not pick wickets; however, proved economical. There was indeed a case for Dwayne Bravo coming instead of Kedar Jadhav at number four and plunder the big hits to put the opposition under pressure.
Similar to Dwayne Bravo, paceman Shardul Thakur also played the first match in IPL 2020 and performed considerably despite having the reputation of being an expensive bowler. Shardul Thakur picked the wicket of Manish Pandey, conceding 32 runs in four overs and was exceptional in the final over, giving away only seven runs.
After a below-par show against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals, Piyush Chawla performed well against SunRisers Hyderabad. Piyush Chawla picked the wicket of the opposing skipper David Warner and conceded 20 runs in three overs. The veteran leggie will most likely retain his spot.
Deepak Chahar was exceptional with the new ball and dismissed Jonny Bairstow with a brilliant in-swinger first up. In his final over, Deepak Chahar also dismissed Abhishek Sharma, breaking the partnership with Priyam Garg. The Super Kings will hope for their new-ball bowler to keep his form up and running along.