It was whistle-podu galore for the Chennai Super Kings fans after the team registered an emphatic 93-run victory over a hapless Delhi Daredevils unit in Abu Dhabi on Monday. (Photos: CSK register comprehensive against DD)
The Super Kings recovered from their 6-wicket loss against Kings XI Punjab on Friday with a clinical all-round performance that left the Daredevils tottering throughout the course of the match.
On the other hand, the Rajasthan Royals would be itching to brush aside their loss against the Kings XI Punjab with a win against two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday. (Also Read: Maxwell and Miller keep it sweet for Punjab)
The Royals have their task cut out as they would have to shine with both bat and ball to counter a reinvigorated and victorious Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The game changers
Ishwar Pandey: Ishwar Pandey’s phenomenal surge in the Indian domestic cricket circuit has been nothing less than a fairytale. At a young age of 24, Pandey has amassed 131 wickets in just 31 First-class matches with a striking average of 24.43.
He was the highest wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season with 48 wickets from just 8 matches with 5 five-wicket hauls. In the next season, he took 30 wickets from 8 matches with an average of 24.76.
Blessed with a tall height and robust physique, the young Madhya Pradesh medium-pacer impressed Indian selectors with his prodigious bowling exploits in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 Ranji Trophy seasons, and earned a well-deserved call-up for India’s tour of New Zealand in 2013.
Pandey, who had earlier represented the now defunct Pune Warriors in 2013, shone with the ball in his debut match for the Super Kings and finished with impressive figures of 2/23 in his four overs.
“I didn’t do anything special with the ball. It was our fielders who made us bowlers look good”, Pandey told IPL’s official website. (Must Read: Didn’t do anything special with ball, says Ishwar Pandey)
Suresh Raina: Suresh Raina has been a formidable part of the Chennai Super Kings unit since making his IPL debut 2008. The most capped player in the history of IPL, Raina steered his team to an emphatic victory over a listless Delhi Daredevils side on Monday with a brisk half-century, which was his 19th in the League.
Raina later added blitz to his remarkable batting performance with three stunning catches that refreshed memories of Jonty Rhodes in the outfield. Along with Faf du Plessis, Raina was a major difference in the CSK unit which was criticized for its woeful fielding against Kings XI Punjab a few days ago.
Shane Watson: The experienced Australian backed his retention by scoring an impressive half-century against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday; however, the Royals surrendered to Glen Maxwell and David Miller’s belligerent hitting and lost the match despite scoring an imposing 191/5 in 20 overs.
Watson would have to come up with an infallible game-plan against a dangerous Chennai Super Kings side that made a mockery of the Delhi Daredevils on Monday.
He would also need to be wary of his team’s sub-standard bowling that took a severe hammering from Kings XI’s lethal duo of Maxwell and Miller in Sharjah.
Sanju Samson: Sanju Samson is another young cricketer with a bright future ahead of him. The 19-year-old Kerala batsman emerged as a shining star after a string of impressive performances with the India U-19 team.
He was the highest run-scorer for India U-19 in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2013/14 where he scored 267 runs at an average of 44.50. Samson also had a successful 2013/14 Ranji Trophy outing for Kerala where he scored 530 runs in 6 matches which included a double-century against Assam.
He was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals in 2013 and made his selection count with impressive performances that gave him a recall by the team for their 2014 IPL season.
Although Samson failed to impress in Royals’ IPL-7 opener against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, he upped the ante in the next game against Kings XI Punjab by scoring a 34-ball-52.
He scripted an important partnership with Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Watson which paved way for an imposing total of 191. However, his valiant effort went in vain as Kings XI Punjab chased down the mammoth total with relative ease.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C), Baba Aparajith, Mithun Manhas, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, Vijay Shankar, Brendon McCullum, , Ashish Nehra, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ishwar Pandey, John Hastings, Matt Henry, Mohit Sharma, Pawan Negi, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ronit More, Samuel Badree
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Brad Hodge, Karun Nair, Unmukt Chand, Abhishek Nayar, Deepak Hooda, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Rajat Bhatia, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Ankush Bains, Dishant Yagnik, Sanju Samson, Amit Mishra, Ankit Sharma, Ben Cutting, Dhawal Kulkarni, Iqbal Abdulla, Kane Richardson, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik