Chennai Super Kings faces Punjab Kings with eye on top-two finish

After a stupendous run that saw it become the first team to qualify for the IPL play-off, Chennai Super Kings [18 points from 13 matches] has suffered a slump of sorts, going down in its last two games.

M.S. Dhoni and his men will attempt to arrest the slump and get back on the highway to glory against Punjab Kings in its last game, in Dubai, on Thursday.   -  BCCI/IPL

Winning is a lot about momentum. Particularly while entering the climactic phase of a high stakes competition.

After a stupendous run that saw it become the first team to qualify for the IPL play-off, Chennai Super Kings [18 points from 13 matches] has suffered a slump of sorts, going down in its last two games.

Under the circumstances, M.S. Dhoni and his men will attempt to arrest the slump and get back on the highway to glory against Punjab Kings in its last game, in Dubai, on Thursday.

Punjab Kings [10 from 13] is a team that has discovered ways to lose from winning situations. Set batters have been unable to stay on and finish the job; the side has been consumed by the pressures of the chase.

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Punjab Kings not just has to defeat CSK by a huge margin to get its run-rate above that of Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians but also hope both these sides lose their last matches.

CSK, meanwhile, has signed uncapped West Indian all-rounder Dominic Drakes as a replacement for Sam Curran.

Punjab Kings needs to get everything right in this clash. Anil Kumble’s men have shown some promise without getting all the pieces together.

Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, paceman Arshdeep Singh and the hard-hitting Shahrukh Khan are all youngsters with talent.  

Much focus will be on inform openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis and K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

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