CSK face the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their last league stage match of the current edition of the Indian Premier League. They go into the encounter after coming up short in their previous two matches against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Delhi Capitals (DC).
While previewing the CSK-PBKS clash in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted that the MS Dhoni-led side will want to end their losing run. He observed:
"Chennai have the chance to win this encounter and if they win, they can confirm their spot in the top two. They have lost two consecutive matches. Do you want to walk into the playoffs with 3 losses? No way."
The former India cricketer added that CSK will not want to go into the playoffs with negative momentum. Chopra elaborated:
"Whatever the team might be, if you keep winning the momentum is maintained, winning is a habit, so is losing. Chennai will have to break their losing streak and today is the last chance as after this it is only the playoffs."
CSK are almost guaranteed a top-two finish in the IPL 2021 points table. They can only be denied a spot in Qualifier 1 if they are handed a thrashing by PBKS and the Royal Challengers Bangalore annihilate the Delhi Capitals.
"This is CSK's last chance to resolve the chinks in their armor" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the PBKS clash gives CSK the last chance to iron out their deficiencies. He said:
"This is CSK's last chance to resolve the chinks in their armor. Sam Curran is not there, so Dwayne Bravo will play hundred percent. But is he giving the hundred percent performance? He does sometimes and not at other times. You are surprised seeing the wides he bowled in the last match."
The 44-year-old signed off by stating that CSK will have to necessarily overcome their middle-order woes. He explained:
"Suresh Raina has not scored runs. He didn't play the last match, he was probably injured but Robin Uthappa also did not score runs. MS Dhoni, he generally does not send himself up the order but the one time he did, he played the slowest knock of his IPL career. When the openers get out, the problems increase."
CSK will be particularly concerned with the form of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. With a spot in Qualifier 1 almost confirmed, it will be interesting to see if the duo opts to spend more time at the crease in Thursday afternoon's encounter.