Match 24 of IPL 5 gives hosts Chennai a perfect opportunity for revenge when they take on Pune Warriors on Thursday, April 19, 2012.
PW won the reverse fixture when they chased a target of 156 on the back of fine innings by Ryder and Smith. Earlier, their bowlers restricted CSK in the slog overs after Dhoni’s men appeared set to get close to 200.
CSK will hope to bring home advantage to bear and should rely on their batting form. Barring Vijay, all the others have got among the runs, with Du Pleissis in outstanding form filling Mike Hussey’s shoes to a nicety. Saha could be the best replacement option for Vijay, and the presence of the likes of Raina, Badrinath, Bravo, Dhoni and Jadeja spells comfort for Thursday’s hosts.
Their bowling will be bolstered by the return to action of Doug Bollinger. Unfortunately, that good news is offset by the bad news that Morkel has flown back to South Africa, following the tragic murder of his good friend, back home. This puts the CSK selectors in a bit of a spot as Kulasekara, who replaced Bollinger during the Australian’s absence was less than impressive. Scott Styris, if available, could replace Morkel.
Pune Warriors, despite the loss to RCB in their last match, did enough to underscore their credentials, especially in their strong batting that helped them pile up 182. Ryder, Uthappa and Smith are all in fine form. A few question marks have emerged about their bowling though, and Nehra’s last over that cost him 24 runs and his side the match against RCB could see him replaced by B Kumar. Murali Kartik is certain to play given the spin-friendly wicket expected at Chennai.
Home advantage will give CSK the edge in this game but Dhoni’s men can expect PW to fight hard and give them a good run for their money.
CSK’s probable eleven: Du Pleissis, Saha, Reina, Badrinath, Bravo, Dhoni, Styris, Jadeja, Ashwin, Jakati, Bollinger.
PW’s probable eleven: Uthappa, Ryder, Ganguly, Manhas, Samuels, Mathew, Smith, Kartik, Sharm, B Kumar, Dinda.
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