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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
April 17, 2011
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
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.
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
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.
"If we can beat Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, we can beat anyone."
"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 ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
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