For CSK, the Tiger has awoken. M. S. Dhoni, at 40, remains the side’s biggest match-winner and one of the game’s great finishers. His incredible blitzkrieg against Mumbai Indians has provided CSK with belief and inspiration. Having tasted blood, Dhoni will be on the prowl against Punjab Kings in Monday night’s clash at the batter friendly Wankhede Stadium.
The match is crucial for two teams seeking to find momentum. Punjab Kings has three wins from seven matches and CSK, two.
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CSK requires greater consistency from its batters. Crucially, skipper Ravindra Jadeja needs to fire. And big-hitter Shivam Dube’s shot selection has to be judicious.
Will CSK field Matheesha Pathirana, the slinger from Sri Lanka, in this duel? He can be slippery. Seamer Mukesh Chowdhary has bowled with greater control, all-rounder Dewaine Pretorious has chipped in, Dwayne Bravo’s variations have been brilliant and Mahesh Theeshana has contained and struck with his brand of spin.
Livingstone the biggest threat
For Punjab Kings, coached by the legendary Anil Kumble, Liam Livingstone, with his barrage of shots, represents the biggest threat. Skipper Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan can construct monuments while Shahrukh Khan can dismiss attacks.
The fast and skilful Kagiso Rabada and leg-spinner Rahul Chahar can strike telling blows. Swinger Vaibhav Arora and crafty left-armer Arshdeep Singh are handy pacemen.
The match can go down to the wire.