IPL 2018, Match 12: Chennai Super Kings Predicted Playing XI against Kings XI Punjab
Chennai Super Kings made a royal comeback in the Indian Premier League, winning the first two games against quality oppositions. Both their first and second games were close but the Chennai side managed to scrape out victories on both occasions.
CSK won their first game thanks to a brilliant all-round display by Dwayne Bravo and they should thank Sam Billings for a stunning victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders on their return to their den in Chepauk.
The team, however, have been plagued by injuries to their star players. Kedhar Jadhav got injured in the first game and has been ruled out for the entire duration of the IPL. Raina got injured in the second game and has been ruled out for the next two games and hence changes are expected for their game against Punjab:
Openers: Murali Vijay and Shane Watson
Ambati Rayudu played the first two matches as an opener along with Shane Watson and while he shouldn't be judged by his performance in just two matches, it is important for the team to play Rayudu in the middle order. Jadhav has been ruled out of IPL 2018 and Raina has been ruled out for the next two games. Therefore, Rayudu will be the team's most important player in the middle.
Vijay will be the ideal replacement for the injured Raina as he would relieve Rayudu of the burden of opening the innings. Vijay has performed brilliantly whenever he has donned the CSK colours, which makes him a great addition to the side.
Watson will open the innings along with Vijay. He brings much-needed balance to the side. He will play the role of an aggressive opener and can also contribute with the ball by bowling four overs.
Middle Order: Ambati Rayudu, Sam Billings
Rayudu will most probably bat down the order in the next match in the absence of Raina. Sam Billings was the hero of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders. His knock of 56 was a match-winning one and it helped his team pull off an improbable chase of 202. He may not be a consistent player for Chennai but when he is in form he can pull off such brilliant victories for the team.
Wicket-Keeper and All-Rounders: MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja
Dhoni will continue batting at number 5 but he needs a better performance than what was on display in his previous match.
Bravo was the hero for the Chennai Super Kings in the first match and one can expect him to bat at number 6 ahead of Ravindra Jadeja against Punjab. Bravo's main job, however, would be to bowl well in the death overs.
Jadeja had a horrible game at the Wankhede and many questioned his presence in the side. He proved his critics wrong as he finished the game against Kolkata with a six.
Spinners: Harbhajan Singh/Karn Sharma and Imran Tahir
Harbhajan Singh played the first game and conceded 14 runs in his two overs. While he was disciplined in his two overs, he didn't bowl many wicket-taking deliveries. He continued his impressive performance in the match against Kolkata as well, proving to be a great buy for the Chennai side.
Imran Tahir too had a poor first match as he conceded 23 runs in his two overs and picked a wicket for his side. He made a decent comeback in the second match but his presence in the 11 would be dependent on the availability of Faf du Plessis.
Fast Bowlers: Deepak Chahar & Shardul Thakur
Deepak Chahar was the most impressive bowler for the Chennai team in the first match as he bowled three overs for just 14 runs and picked up the important wicket of Evin Lewis, who was dismissed for a duck. His performance in the second game though wasn't up to the mark as he conceded 18 runs in his solitary over.
Chahar was picked ahead of the experienced Shardul Thakur and it turned out to be a great decision. He looked good in the first game and Dhoni is the kind of captain who likes to stick with his players and Chahar will be a definite pick for the next game.
Shardul Thakur got his first game in the match against Kolkata and he turned out to be expensive but Dhoni would prefer to go with two Indian pacers and have Sam Billings in the team and therefore Thakur is a definite pick for the next match.
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