Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2011, Chennai April 15, 2011

Southern heavyweights seek turnaround


Match facts

Saturday, April 16
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big picture

Two traditional IPL heavyweights will face off in Chennai, a little disappointed with how things have panned out after wins in their respective opening games. Royal Challengers Bangalore will be the more confused lot. They began their season with a strong turnaround to beat Kochi but, since then, they have taken a couple of wrong turns. Their problems have stemmed from muddled thinking. Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers - two of the most prolific batsmen in the World Cup - crawled without intent to a score of 140 against Mumbai, which later proved woefully inadequate. On Thursday, chasing 175 against Deccan, Bangalore inexplicably promoted Zaheer Khan to No. 3. Against Dale Steyn, of all people. Steyn scattered Zaheer's stumps third ball, showing up just how hare-brained the plan was. Will Bangalore have better ideas for their third match in five days, all at different venues?

Chennai's problems, on the other hand, have been on the execution front. They held their nerve and backed themselves to the hilt against Kolkata, winning from a hopeless situation, but followed it up with a shambolic show against Punjab. Catches went down, regulation saves were fumbled, too many balls were served up on and outside leg stump, and just like that, Paul Valthaty became an instant hero. Albie Morkel bowled too many full tosses, Tim Southee struggled to land his yorkers and R Ashwin's carom balls weren't on the mark. MS Dhoni likes to back his players, and will be averse to making wholesale changes after just one poor game, but Michael Hussey's arrival might force his hand. Given the nature of the Chepauk track, spin could be crucial to the outcome of the game, and despite Daniel Vettori's skills, Chennai have the upperhand on that front.

Team talk

Hussey opened the innings with M Vijay for Chennai in last year's Champions League and the inherent contrast in their methods made them a successful pairing. Given Chennai's muscle in the middle order, Dhoni might want to keep Hussey at the top and push S Anirudha lower down. Doug Bollinger is also set to join the team, and might replace Morkel, while Scott Styris could be making way for Hussey.

Mayank Agarwal has looked completely out of his depth at the top, and Bangalore will consider benching him. Saurabh Tiwary and Cheteshwar Pujara are wasted at Nos. 6 and 7, and there is a case for pushing everyone up a spot, which could mean Virat Kohli opening the innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan. The bowling is a bigger worry, with Abhimanyu Mithun, S Aravind and Ryan Ninan bleeding runs in the first three games.

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

In the spotlight

This is the quietest start Suresh Raina has had to an IPL season. He is the only batsman to have topped 400 runs in each season of the IPL, and will be itching to get into prime-hitting form. Daniel Vettori will know Raina's propensity to heave over cow corner, with the spin. Will he tempt him on Friday, with flight, loop and a man prowling at deep midwicket?

Suraj Randiv has had an eventful couple of games: he has seen his offbreaks slugged over the leg side, and he has had his doosras edged to third man, and at times miscued to fielders. How will his luck turn out against Bangalore?

Prime numbers

  • Thirteen centuries have been hit in the IPL. Chennai and Rajasthan have conceded most of them (three each)
  • The only current Bangalore batsman with an IPL ton is AB de Villiers. That century came against Chennai in 2009, though de Villiers was playing for Delhi then

    The chatter

    "You win some games, at the same time you lose some games. The important thing is to learn lessons from this defeat."
    MS Dhoni hopes his team doesn't repeat the mistakes they made against Punjab

    Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Guru on April 16, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Dr.Mallya has not retained most of the local players, Captain is new, he is unable to control the runrate nor make proper bowling changes, the so called think tank of RCB is still experimenting on the team ingridients, all these problems unless sorted out will show on the results, Hope the RCB team sort these at earliest and bring cheer to all our RCB Fans.

  • Hemanth on April 16, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    we are expecting some great batting from AB, Dilshan and Tiwary. if that happens it is an easy job to Nannes, Zaheer and vettori to win the game.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    RCB need to let go of the confusion that had in the camp during the last match. AB, Dilshan, Kohli need to come good and that would be a second defeat in a row for CSK today :)

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Chennai Super king..............................will win today..............Playing XI should be.........Hussey,vijay,raina,badrinath,dhoni,morkel,anirudda,jakati,ashwin,southee,boulinger.

  • P.R.Govinda on April 16, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    If Raina, Badri and Vijay shine then victory for CSK

  • Ajay on April 16, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    Iam a Banglorean but somehow RCB losing this time is not hurting,may be it is because of non-presence of local players and non-retainment of international players whom we had come to love in last 3 years. Mr.Mallya should have made a better effort to retain local talent and some of the great international talent which they had at their disposal.

  • Chengappa on April 16, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    Bangalore Has a come back of Dirk Nannes Hope to boost up the squad with Kohli some brilliant shots , and vettoris back up i think it can be comeback for RCB

  • Arjun on April 16, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    yipee!!! Doug "The Eagle" Bollinger is back.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    replace morkel with bollinger.... styris with mike hussey... and randiv with faf du plessis.... makes a formidable line up both with bat and ball...and line up looks like vijay, hussey, raina , dhoni, badri, du plessis, anirudha, ashwin, southee, bollinger, jakati..... southee and bolli wil seam up and ashwin and jakati wil turn it.... with raina as part timer along wit du plessis....

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Most likely the playing XI will be batsmen : vijay, srikanth, raina, dhoni, badri, hussey bowlers : southee, bollinger, ashwin, jakati

    that leaves one all-rounder spot. styris and albie will be competing for it.

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