I never thought I’d rate a batting line up of Bopara, Sanga, Yuvi, Jayawardene so little, but some supreme sucktitude from their top players left me with no option. The last game would have been a big embarassment if not for Irfan’s exploits with the bat. So much depends on Yuvi, who hasn’t struck any kind of form yet, and things cannot get any more desperate for KXPriety and gang.
Partiv didn’t do anything of note in his first game, but Hayden had the Mongoose for company. The big man bludgeoned his way back to form, and sent shivers down many a spine. The captaincy given to Raina seems to have worked on his batting, where he responsibly saw his team through. Badri and Vijay still find their spots in the team, and Badri needs to quickly settle in and play a steadying role.
After a reasonable first game, Sree has settled into his customary just-slap-my-face-and/or-my-bowling role. I cannot fathom him playing in this game, and someone like Sodhi might get a look in with his all-round abilities. Or , they can give Romesh Powar aka Fat-boy-slim another chance. Pathan, Piyush and Yuvraj looked good, and Srivastava might stick around for a game more, considering there’s not really anyone else to replace him.
While the attack isn’t awe-inspiring, they have been disciplined. The brainfart from the management on selecting Jogi Time fortunately did not cost them the game last time, but against a win-hungry team like Punjab filled with correct strokemakers, they should quickly gain some common sense and select Gony instead. Despite the lack of pace, Balaji has stood up admirably and used his variations and experience, and this should continue. Murali and Ashwin have been OK (Strictly ok) , but they need to improve.
KXP Batting vs CSK Bowling :Slight Advantage CSK
CSK bowling has been all discipline. KXP has the quality, and this might be the kind of even paced bowling attack that may help them gain some form. Sanga and Jayawardene probably are the best bets to handle Murali, and the friendly pace of Balaji and Gony shouldn’t scare them too much. If Bopara and Bisla can give them a good start, they can hope for a big score on this.
CSK needs to get Bopara out.Open with Balaji and perhaps Murali to give him something different. Bopara looks comfy against pace, so slowing the pace down might help. He has been the in-form player. They should also employ Albie’s pace to deliver some rib-cage stuff to Yuvi.
KXP Bowling vs CSK Batting: Advantage CSK
With Hayden on song, it gives a big boost to CSK. Couple that with the anemic bowling from the Punjab unit and things can get out of hand. Pathan needs to fish out Hayden, and with his guile, it is just possible. The rest of the CSK unit tend to play around Hayden, so if he’s accounted for, the surge might not be there.
From CSK’s standpoint, Badri could play the key role. Hayden and Raina are the only 2 players capable of providing consistent impetus for the innings, and hence Badri needs to play a long innings since those 2 will be targetted against.
I think it will be a close one, but finally, CSK squeak through , giving Priety more headaches.