Punjab and Chennai will lock horns in Mumbai in their second encounter of the season in the Indian T20 League. Punjab won their first game by 4 runs against Rajasthan, while Chennai suffered a 7-wicket loss to Delhi.
Match Timings: April 16, 7:30 PM IST
Punjab and Chennai are ready for another high-scoring action in Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai tonight. The start to the season for both sides have been slightly different. Punjab escaped in a last-ball thriller against the Sanju Samson show and managed to take two points, while Chennai suffered a big loss of 7 wickets and poor bowling cost them weak NRR as well.
Punjab had so many positives but also had weak points after the end of Rajasthan’s chase. Deepak Hooda was a shining star who was promoted ahead of Pooran and his knock changed the game for Punjab. After the first 10 overs, they were not in the frame of getting 200 but Hooda’s 28-ball 64 created a big turnaround and they got 221. KL Rahul also continued his top-form and scored a vital 91. He has improved his strike rate issue after season 2020. Chris Gayle also contributed 40 off 28 balls. Punjab picked some early wickets but they lacked in middle-overs.
Arshdeep Singh should get the credit for using basics in death-bowling. Meredith and Richardson have to understand the competition of this toughest league. The duo conceded more than 10 runs per overs and Rajasthan almost crossed the line. Punjab have a good batting depth but they have to understand that Rajasthan’s bowling was not up to the mark. Chennai may trouble them if they lose early wickets. KL Rahul’s form would be interesting but Punjab has to solve their death-bowling issues. Any change is unlikely to happen and Punjab will go with their winning XI in this game.
Meanwhile, Chennai’s start to the season was so poor. Raina scored a fighting half-century on the comeback and with this knock, Chennai posted 189 on board. The Yellow outfit was not even in the contest when Shaw and Dhawan were batting. Deepak Chahar failed to pick any wicket with the new ball which was his strength earlier. Dhoni even tried spin from both ends but it wasn’t enough. The top-order couldn’t score big and early pressure didn’t allow Chennai to get the acceleration and they fell short of 15-20 runs. You cannot win matches in Mumbai if you don’t get 200. Toss will definitely play a vital role to decide the game but captions cannot depend on these things.
Chennai has to look for a better pace-option who can bowl crucial overs in middle-overs and death. The spin attack is also poor as Jadeja and Moeen Ali are not the top-class spinners in T20 format. Imran Tahir should be recalled in place of Bravo and that should be the only change in Chennai’s squad. Moeen was good with the bat in the last game and he will continue at his genuine position. Sam Curran might also be promoted in middle-order to grab the early acceleration. Dhoni’s side has good depth in batting but bowling would remain their big concern. If the toss goes in their favour, they would seal two points from today’s game.
Wankhede’s track is an ideal batting track. The surface will offer a lot of runs to batsmen. We may expect 200 plus totals tonight in both innings. Dew factor would play a big role while chasing so toss is a key factor in Mumbai.
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Best average in Mumbai in past years among all batsmen in Indian T20 League
Flat track suits his batting style, 40 off 28 in the last match
Fifty on a comeback, experience may offer big runs to him
A T20 package with both bat and ball