Super Kings challenge for Cobras (Preview)
Super Kings challenge for Cobras
It doesn’t happen often: Chennai losing a game at their home turf. Injury ravaged managed to do what couldn’t be achieved by different IPL teams in all of eight games. Courtesy Lasith Malinga, the batsman, Chennai’s eight match winning streak at Chepauk was snapped after having controlled best part of the game.
And for their opponents, South African Cape Cobras start to the tournament was very refreshing. They outclassed South Australia Redbacks both with the bat and ball to get off to a winning start. Riding on a good performance from the bowlers, Cape Cobras chased down target of 136 without much sweat with Herschelle Gibbs coming into his own.
Cobras will be charged up and confident after thumping win against South Australia and ready to take on any side in the tournament. If the South African side overpower defending champions Chennai on Wednesday, their chances of going deep into the tournament will only brighten.
Chennai won’t be an easy challenge, though. There aren’t many twenty franchises or teams that can claim to be more composed and settled than the IPL champions. Not only has their core group remained unchanged ever since inception of the IPL, Chennai seem to have players for every match situation. This has proved to be the main reason for many glories under very cool and calm leadership of MS Dhoni.
Having clever offie R Ashwin and left arm spinner Shadab Jakati backed by part time Suresh Raina in the ranks, Chennai boasts of a decent spin attack that has won many a match for them. On the slowish and turning Chepauk turf, these spinners are home team’s real strength building the pressure that, more often than not, has led to the wickets. Cobras will know it well that the spinners pose a biggest threat and they need to surmount the battle to edge ahead the reigning champions.
Chennai have a master batsman in Michael Hussey. There aren’t many in the world who know how to pace t-20 innings as he showed on his way to a 57-ball 81 against Mumbai. Unlike first game, Raina, Dhoni himself and Murali Vijay need to contribute substantial scores rather than breezy tenure at the crease.
Among the many battles, world’s best fast bowler Dale Steyn against Hussey and Co. is surely going to be the one that fans in Chennai are going to revere. Steyn had a quiet first game but lethal wicket taking ability at his pace can dent any batting lineup.
Cobras’ strength lies in them having most of the bases covered. Any South African side is a terrific fielding unit. Steyn has company of a very good at death fast bowler Charles Langeveldt and a quality spinner in Robin Peterson. Skipper Justin Kemp has a couple of decent bowling options to fall upon should his premier bowlers fail to deliver goods.
Gibbs’ terrific early in the tourney will boost overall confidence of the setup. Cobras’ batting lineup have a very unorthodox Owais Shah, more of a copy book batsman in JP Duminy and a muscular and hard hitting Kemp to make mockery of any bowling attack.
All said and done, at their home station predicting a Chennai win can be a profitable bet. But, then nature of the format and plenty of gun players that Cobras posses only suggest a cracker of a game is on cards at Chepauk.
Chennai: S Badrinath, Doug Bollinger, R Ashwin, MS Dhoni (c)(Wk), Shadab Jakati, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Albie Morkel, Wriddhiman Saha, Suraj Randiv, S Anirudha, Dwayne Bravo, Scott Styris, M Vijay, Nuwan Kulasekera.
Cape Cobras: JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp (C), Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Johann Louw, Justin Ontong, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Andrew Puttick, Michael Rippon, Owais Shah, Dale Steyn, Dane Vilas.© eContent.in
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