It is the battle of Kings on Sunday in the 999th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when Chennai Super Kings (CSK) faces off against Punjab Kings (PBKS) here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
Both sides are coming into this match on the back of big defeats in which they conceded big totals and failed to chase them down.
Super Kings’ 32-run defeat to Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur ended its three-match winning streak and has now pushed down the four-time champion from the top of the table to fourth.
However, CSK will fancy its chances against Shikhar Dhawan’s side at home as it seeks to return to winning ways.
The Men in Yellow will want to focus on their bowling in the PowerPlay, where the team has been leaking runs. It was something that cost them the game against Royals.
In conditions where spin will dominate, Dhoni will have an easier task in controlling proceedings with three quality spinners at his disposal.
Meanwhile, Punjab Kings will want to quickly forget its last outing, where the side conceded the second-highest total in IPL history against Lucknow Super Giants in Mohali. Bowling has been Kings’ strength this year, but the team’s pacers had an off-day against Super Giants.
The visitor will not have it easy in Chepauk, and Dhawan will need his spinners to come to the fore - something they have yet to do so far this season.
Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar has struggled this year, having taken only two wickets so far and will quickly need to regain his mojo.
It will also be interesting to see if the team drafts in an extra spinner instead of a fast bowler or backs Sikandar Raza and Liam Livingstone to shoulder the load with Chahar.
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