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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 18 April 2012 - 10:01pm IST

Preview: Match 24 – CSK v PWI

Ganguly’s Warriors go up against Dhoni’s Super Kings in their return fixture

What

Match 24 of DLF IPL 2012 will be the Pune Warriors India’s return fixture against the defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings.


Sourav Ganguly’s men caused an upset of sorts when they beat the Chennai Super Kings in their home fixture a few days ago. But the defeat at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore a couple of days ago must have left the team gutted. The Warriors, who have won three out of their 5 matches, face a stiff task as they travel to Chennai, where CSK are known to perform best.

The Super Kings have had an indifferent start to the tournament. They’ve been at the receiving end in three of their five matches and have not looked like a champion team so far. MS Dhoni and co. have an enviable home record, and they will believe they can keep PWI at bay.

When

Thursday, April 19, 2011, 08:00 p.m.


Where


MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai


The Protagonists


While Faf du Plessis has, to a certain extent, covered up for the absence of Michael Hussey at the top of the innings, CSK will be worried about the lack of runs from Murali Vijay’s willow. Look out for a change in CSK’s batting order – the explosive Srikkanth Anirudha is waiting in the wings, and Super Kings might just decide to give him an outing.

Suresh Raina has got starts in each of his five innings, but he’s been guilty of not converting them into big scores. For someone who carries the reputation of being a match-winner in this format, a tournament-best of 36 doesn’t do justice. The southpaw needs to push and pile on the big scores just like he has in previous seasons.

The CSK skipper MS Dhoni himself will feel the pressure after only managing 89 runs in five innings (at a dismal strike-rate of 105). The decision to promote himself up the order is certainly the right move. But Dhoni will be aware that he needs to also stay on and finish off innings – like he’s done so often in India colours.

PWI will face a problem with the confidence of the bowling attack after their defeat at the hands of RCB. Ganguly’s bowler’s couldn’t defend 183 runs, and it will take some doing for the bowlers (especially for Rahul Sharma and Ashish Nehra) to recover from the mauling they received at the hands of Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers.

Also, keep an eye on the explosive opening pair of Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder; the pair was unstoppable on a flat batting surface at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and added 63 in seven overs. It will be interesting to see how they fare on the slow track one is likely to encounter at the Chepauk.

Previous Meetings

The Chennai Super Kings held a 100% record in their matches against Pune Warriors India prior to the start of this season; the champions convincingly defeated their opponents in both their matches during their title run last season.

The Pune Warriors India pulled one back this season, and they will look to level the scores at the end of this fixture.

Trivia

Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina needs one more half-century to go level with Jacques Kallis, who holds the record for the most half-centuries in the IPL.

Chennai Super Kings’ Albie Morkel holds the record for the most unbeaten innings in the IPL; the South African all-rounder has remained Not Out in 22 off his 49 innings.

This match will see two “bat-first” captains pitted against each other. Sourav Ganguly has opted to bat first in 14 off the 15 IPL matches in which he’s won the toss. His counterpart in this match – MS Dhoni – has opted to take first strike at 25 off the 30 tosses he’s won.

What next?


MS Dhoni and co. will stay put at home after this fixture; they are scheduled to host the Rajasthan Royals on April 21. Later, on the same day, Sourav Ganguly’s team will be seen in action in the national capital when they square off against the Delhi Daredevils.

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