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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
May 1, 2013
Match factsMay 2, 2013
Big PictureChennai Super Kings have been among the best travelers this IPL, winning all four of their away games, in addition to the four home wins. With eight wins and 16 points - four ahead of second-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore - Super Kings are all but certain of a place in the playoffs, having won six in a row. Their journey this year is in contrast to 2012, where they groped around in the darkness in the middle stages, before sneaking into the playoffs in a frenzy, helped along the way by a few other teams. In 2013, they have been remarkably consistent and that's partly due to the fact that they have stuck with a core of players - six of them have played all ten games, while Michael Hussey and Chris Morris are a close second with nine. Against bottom-placed Pune Warriors, they went back to their tried and tested formula of starting slowly with the bat and then attacking. Warriors were batted out of the match.
Super Kings can expect stiffer competition from the unpredictable Kings XI Punjab, who ran Mumbai Indians close on Monday in a tense chase. The result could have gone their way if it weren't for the umpiring in the final over, when an above-waist high full toss wasn't penalised by the umpires, denying them an extra ball and a run. Only four runs separated the teams in the end. It could also have been different had they sent Piyush Chawla and Praveen Kumar - both with proven track records as hitters - ahead of Manpreet Gony, who wasted three balls and didn't score. They made a significant change at the top, dropping the out-of-form Adam Gilchrist, and handing the captaincy to David Hussey, who could continue in that role till the end of the tournament. Kings XI have lost their last two games, and need some wins to try and get in to the top four. Beating Super Kings in Chennai will be a challenge, but it's not impossible, as Mumbai and Warriors have done earlier.
Form guideChennai Super Kings WWWWW
Players to watchMohit Sharma was among five uncapped (IPL) players picked by Super Kings this year, and like Gony in IPL 2008, has turned out to be one of the emerging players. The Haryana seamer has nine wickets in seven games and has been miserly too, with an economy rate of just six.
David Miller has been the pick of the overseas players for Kings XI with 200 runs in five games with two fifties, behind the top scorer Mandeep Singh (228). Miller's clean hitting stood out in the game against Mumbai, there were five sixes in his 56.
Stats and trivia
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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