Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2011, Kochi April 17, 2011

A battle of batting might in Kochi


Match facts

Monday, April 18
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Kochi Tuskers Kerala are on a high after stunning the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede, a result which their captain Mahela Jayawardene believes will make other teams take Kochi seriously. His side had come close to victory in both their opening matches before fading away in the last few overs, but there was no such problem against Mumbai as their big-name batsmen, Brendon McCullum and Jayawardene, launched a superb counterattack to spoil the Mumbai party after Sachin Tendulkar's century.

Kochi need a repeat dose on Monday since they now come up against another heavyweight in the competition, defending champions Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni and his team returned to winning ways against Royal Challengers Bangalore, recovering from the pasting they received at the hands of Paul Valthaty earlier in the week.

With the versatile Michael Hussey reinforcing an already formidable Chennai batting line-up, Kochi's patchy bowling attack have a challenge on their hands. Kochi too have several accomplished Twenty20 batsmen, but their bowling resources are less impressive than Chennai's.

Team talk

The Chennai Super Kings are performing so well that they can afford to leave out fast bowler Dougie Bollinger, one of the architects of their victorious campaign last season. With Tim Southee proving a canny bowler at the death, perhaps the only route for Bollinger to get a game is if there is a track suiting fast bowlers, in which case Chennai will contemplate bringing him in place of offspinner Suraj Randiv.

If VVS Laxman recovers in time from his back problem, Kochi will have to ponder how to accommodate him in the line-up, since Jayawardene slotted in perfectly as an opener in the Mumbai game. Muttiah Muralitharan was another player who wasn't in the XI at the Wankhede, and Kochi need to decide whether they want the batting back-up that Thisara Perera provides or the offspin of Murali.

Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team selector.

In the spotlight

Ravindra Jadeja missed out on the previous IPL due to contract violations, but has made a terrific start this season: contributing with the bat in all three matches, including consecutive sixes to finish off Mumbai, and he has been economical with the ball as well in a team struggling to control the runs.

The highest run-getter in IPLs, Suresh Raina, has had a quiet time so far this season. He played some vital knocks in the World Cup, and Chennai will hope that his form resurfaces in the IPL as well.

Prime numbers

  • R Ashwin has the best economy rate in IPL history - 6.12 (min. 250 deliveries)
  • Suresh Raina's 27 catches is the most by any fielder in the IPL

The chatter

"If we can beat Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, we can beat anyone."
Geoff Lawson

"I think their strength is that they're all three very different spinners. They're very different to face. They all have different subtleties and different deliveries."
Michael Hussey on Chennai's slow-bowling trio of R Ashwin, Suraj Randiv and Shadab Jakati

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anil on April 20, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    @Parthiban M... I just wanna say 4 ur reply- that Theory and Practical are not always good partners!!. I'm a first class cricket player and know how hard (20's) in feild but these days mere viewers and writers have had other ideas (ofcourse after IPL) !!!! but I'm simply in Practical side dude!!!. Every one can predict anything under globe, but I don't think its a good idea to atleast 20 format or who minds whether its a 1000 pages epistle.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    I think today D/chargers wil do the magic with DD

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Still waiting to see a MEGA Match. High scoring match with Hard hitting.

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    Clouds are being blown away...next it will be the turn of crowd to get blown away by game itself.... although the sound of the thunder might be a little too much for players..

  • Benny on April 18, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    Geoff Lawson is correct in so far as that any team can beat any other team in IPL. Mumbai is a strong team, they just had a less good day (not a bad day though) and so they lost. As far as the strength is concerned, CSK is a better team. May be I am biased because I'm a CSK supportrer, may be not. I'm a realistic guy. Just compare one-on-one, playerwise... you will see what I mean.

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    csk rox...keep d same team dhoni..

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    I am sure that KTK will beat CSK comfortably,as they beat MI

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    KTK will win this match ; Jayawardane n Macullum will be a night mare for dhoni :)

  • venkatesh on April 18, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Whos going to win simple to predict. Listen to what the experts sidhu & co have to say before the match. Then you can bet that just the opposite will happen!

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    What happen to mumbai indian last game: b-cos tendulkar scored a century,lucky he got out in w/cup final.Kochi will give good fight tonight to

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