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Will CSK bring Tahir at the expense of Moeen Ali?

Friday, April 16, 2021 • Tamil Sport News Comments

16 April, 2021

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Will CSK bring Tahir at the expense of Moeen Ali? 

Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the all-time title favourites (not anymore?) and Punjab Kings (rechristened thus from ‘Kings XI Punjab’) would be stepping out at the Wankhede late in the evening tomorrow (Friday) with vastly different objectives: while CSK would be seeking its first win in two matches, PBKS would love to keep the winning momentum after its close win in its first match of the on-going IPL-2021. 

No home advantage

As reported earlier, the 14th edition of IPL is being held adhering to all safety COVID-19 protocols, thus restricting the number of venues to mere four, ensuring that none of the eight participating teams gets to play even a single match in home conditions. CSK, which has won the title thrice and faltered in the final five times during the past 13 years, is looking to come out of a lean patch which saw it missing out from making the play-off stages last year for the first time in many, many years. 

Billed long as 'Daddies' Army' for its many 30+ players, CSK has some young and exciting talents in the form of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Jagadeesan, Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ngidi, Sam Curran, Saikishore (untested, though), Jadeja, Nishanth, etc. Shane Watson has since been replaced by veteran former India opener Robin Uthappa. The quartet of Bravo, Dhoni, Rayudu, du Plessis is indispensable to the SK as it looks to shake off a wobbling start to the tournament last Saturday. 

Punjab's pacers to the fore

PBKS, on the other hand, narrowly scraped through against Rajasthan Royals (RR) despite scoring a mammoth 221.  Young Arshdeep Singh (who bowls ‘death’ overs), veteran Mohammed Shami and the duo of young Aussie pacers – Richardson and Meredith – make up for a lethal pace attack with Tamil Nadu’s M. Ashwin being the lone spinner.  PBKS is likely to stick to the same winning combo against CSK. 

Bowlers need to keep it tight

CSK bowlers wilted under pressure during its first match against DC.  Thakur and Bravo picked up a few wickets as a face-saving effort.  CSK's bowling needs to stick to the basics (of line and length) to contain the power-house batters of PBKS such as KL Rahul, Mayank Aggarwal, 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Pooran and Shahrukh. 

Tahir to replace Moeen Ali?

CSK might replace Moeen Ali with the wicket-taking Imran Tahir and may also try out new entrants Gowtham and Uthappa as it hopes to win Friday's encounter to keep its fans interested in its sojourn in the tournament which is viewed even by die-hard fans of MSD as his last, signing-off tournament at the IPL! 

Expected XI:

CSK: Ruturaj/Uthappa, du Plessis, Raina, Rayudu/Pujara, MSD, Jadeja, Sam Curran, Bravo, Shardul/Ngidi, Deepak Chahar, Gowtham/Santner

PBKS: Rahul, Mayank, Gayle, Hooda, Pooran, Shahrukh, Richardson, Meredith, Shami, Arshdeep Singh, M Ashwin

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