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IPL 2019: Three changes CSK must make against KXIP to get back to winning ways

Ashwan Rao
Top 5 / Top 10
8.61K   //    04 Apr 2019, 22:18 IST

MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin
MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin

The defending champions Chennai Super Kings suffered their first defeat of the 2019 IPL season after losing the highly-anticipated clash against Mumbai Indians by 37 runs at the Wankhede Stadium. Batting first after CSK skipper MS Dhoni opted to field on winning the toss, Mumbai suffered an early jolt as wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock was dismissed in just the third over.

The scoreboard read 3/50 when the hosts lost their skipper, Rohit Sharma, and Yuvraj Singh in quick succession. Nevertheless, the 62-run fourth wicket stand between Krunal Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav steadied the ship for Mumbai whose middle-order failed to live up to the expectations in the first three games.

A late cameo by Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard took the Mumbai Indians total to 5/170 at the end of 20 overs. Chasing 171 runs for their fourth successive victory in this season, the Super Kings got off to a worst possible start losing both their openers under two overs with just six runs on the board.

Debutant Jason Behrendorff removed the dangerous Suresh Raina to worsen the situation further for Dhoni's men who never looked good to chase down the target of 171. While the wickets kept falling at the one end, Kedar Jadhav who waged a lone battle at the other end amassed 58 off 54 balls which included eight fours and a six.

Eventually, Chennai finished at 8/133 thereby losing the contest by 37 runs. Man of the Match Hardik Pandya, Lasith Malinga and Behrendorff did the major damage with the ball for the hosts who registered their second win in four matches this season. Let us now look at three changes CSK must make for the game against Kings XI Punjab to get back to winning ways.

#3 Harbhajan Singh in for Shardul Thakur

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh

It was surprising to see Harbhajan Singh being left out of the CSK XI against Mumbai Indians. Having represented the Mumbai-based franchise for ten seasons, the veteran off-spinner who knows the Wankhede conditions better could have been a better option. Shardul Thakur who did not bowl in the season opener against RCB has registered economies of 9.50, 10.50 and 9.25 respectively so far in the three matches he has bowled.

With the game against Punjab to be played at home where the pitch is known to assist the spinners, CSK must bring back Harbhajan who was adjudged the Player of the Match against RCB in the first encounter for his match-winning figures of 3/20 in 4 overs.

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