Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2014, Abu Dhabi April 17, 2014

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

35

Match facts

Chennai v Punjab, Abu Dhabi Friday, April 18, 2014
Start time 1430 (1030 GMT, 1600 IST)

Play 04:01
Hattangadi: Chennai's Samuel Badree could be a handful

Big Picture

The clouds of controversy are swirling around Chennai, even as they are about to begin another season of the IPL. Time for them then, to embrace that "cocoon" of a familiar team environment around themselves. It is something their coach Stephen Fleming has spoken about, that despite all the uncertainties surrounding the franchise in the run-up to this season, getting together again has been soothing for him and his players. The environment is made still more familiar with the continuity Chennai have managed in their squad over the years, retaining more or less the same core group of players. And a leader who, in his seventh year as international captain and entering his seventh season as franchise captain, is still able to squeeze performances from himself and his players amid almost ever-present off-field drama.

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear relatively light on quick bowlers, but if the pitch for their opening game against Punjab behaves anything like the one for the tournament opener did on Wednesday, the likes of Ben Hilfenhaus and young New Zealander Matt Henry will be difficult to tackle.

The tournament opener between Kolkata and Mumbai was played on a green pitch which had plenty of carry for the fast bowlers. It seemed a bit like the surface Punjab have often dished out at home in Mohali, and their new acquisition Mitchell Johnson would have loved to bowl on it.

Kolkata began slowly and were able to accelerate late with two set batsmen in the middle. It is an approach Chennai have used for years. It is to be seen what kind of approach Punjab will employ, with the utterly contrasting styles of Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara.

This will be the first of five afternoon matches scheduled in the UAE, and though both of these sides will not be involved in the next four, other teams would like to keep an eye on the conditions, especially the heat, given the 230pm start.

Watch out for ...

With a List A average of 55.03, Cheteshwar Pujara has every right to feel aggrieved at being denied a run in the Indian ODI unit. However, a T20 strike-rate of 103 and an average of 19.80 suggest he lags behind when it comes to the shortest format. A similarly orthodox batsman such as Ajinkya Rahane has shown the type can succeed at T20. Can Pujara add another dimension to his batting this season?

R Ashwin had an outstanding World T20, one of the highlights being his dismissal of Hashim Amla with a carrom ball that turned like a legbreak. Ashwin took the delivery to another level in the tournament, using it liberally with tremendous control. He also experimented with a Sunil Narine-like action in the Asia Cup. What does he have in store this season?

Stats and trivia

  • Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied

  • Suresh Raina is set to become the first man to play a 100 IPL matches

    Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • on April 18, 2014, 10:20 GMT

      i love CSK team and also players.all players cangrats.all the players done a good and well perpaments u do.

    • on April 18, 2014, 10:03 GMT

      The Cool Captaincy of MS Dhoni is Remarkable..My XI:McCullum-Smith/Faf-Aparjith-Raina-bravo-Dhoni-Jadeja-Ashwin-Sharma-Nehra- Badree

    • saranthepolice on April 18, 2014, 9:41 GMT

      My CSK XI: 1) Faf Du Plessis, 2) Brendon Mc Cullam, 3) Suresh Raina, 4) B. Apparajith, 5) Dwayne Bravo, 6) MS Dhoni (C+WK), 7) Ravindra Jadeja, 8) Ravichandran Ashwin, 9) Mohit Sharma, 10) Samuel Badree and 11) Ashish Nehra

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:11 GMT

      csk for spin k11p for pace.. batting both teams look great

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:01 GMT

      hope ishwar pandey gets a chance. .

    • Princepurple1979 on April 18, 2014, 8:57 GMT

      CSK team I want for today : McCullum, Faf, Raina, B Aparahith, Bravo, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Badree, Mohit Sharma, Nehra

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:51 GMT

      Chennai super king's strength is bowlers Ashwin,Badree and Jadeja ...weakness is their pace bowling.

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:46 GMT

      Well I do support pun jab because I am an hardcore fan of sewag I want him to come back in Indian eleven

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

      Smith Mc'cullum Raina Du plessis Dhoni Bravo Jadeja Ashwin Pandey hilfaneous/Badree

    • SamWintson92 on April 18, 2014, 8:31 GMT

      My Teams:

      CSK XI: (McCullum should open) 1 McCullum 2 D Smith 3 Raina 4 Du Plessis 5 Dwayne Bravo 6 Dhoni (C+WK) 7 Jadeja 8 Aparajith/Manhas 9 Ashwin 10 Mohit 11 Ishwar.

      KXIP XI: (S Marsh should have played in place of Baiey. But as Bailey is captain, dropping Marsh is very tough on him. But Maxwell can't be dropped as he brings a X-factor and can bowl a bit) 1 Sehwag 2 Pujara 3 Bailey (C) 4 Maxwell/S Marsh (if he's picked then he will open) 5 Miller 6 Saha (WK) 7 Akshar/Vohra/Gurkeerat 8 M Karthik 9 Johnson 10 Sandeep 11 Balaji.

    • on April 18, 2014, 10:20 GMT

      i love CSK team and also players.all players cangrats.all the players done a good and well perpaments u do.

    • on April 18, 2014, 10:03 GMT

      The Cool Captaincy of MS Dhoni is Remarkable..My XI:McCullum-Smith/Faf-Aparjith-Raina-bravo-Dhoni-Jadeja-Ashwin-Sharma-Nehra- Badree

    • saranthepolice on April 18, 2014, 9:41 GMT

      My CSK XI: 1) Faf Du Plessis, 2) Brendon Mc Cullam, 3) Suresh Raina, 4) B. Apparajith, 5) Dwayne Bravo, 6) MS Dhoni (C+WK), 7) Ravindra Jadeja, 8) Ravichandran Ashwin, 9) Mohit Sharma, 10) Samuel Badree and 11) Ashish Nehra

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:11 GMT

      csk for spin k11p for pace.. batting both teams look great

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:01 GMT

      hope ishwar pandey gets a chance. .

    • Princepurple1979 on April 18, 2014, 8:57 GMT

      CSK team I want for today : McCullum, Faf, Raina, B Aparahith, Bravo, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Badree, Mohit Sharma, Nehra

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:51 GMT

      Chennai super king's strength is bowlers Ashwin,Badree and Jadeja ...weakness is their pace bowling.

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:46 GMT

      Well I do support pun jab because I am an hardcore fan of sewag I want him to come back in Indian eleven

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

      Smith Mc'cullum Raina Du plessis Dhoni Bravo Jadeja Ashwin Pandey hilfaneous/Badree

    • SamWintson92 on April 18, 2014, 8:31 GMT

      My Teams:

      CSK XI: (McCullum should open) 1 McCullum 2 D Smith 3 Raina 4 Du Plessis 5 Dwayne Bravo 6 Dhoni (C+WK) 7 Jadeja 8 Aparajith/Manhas 9 Ashwin 10 Mohit 11 Ishwar.

      KXIP XI: (S Marsh should have played in place of Baiey. But as Bailey is captain, dropping Marsh is very tough on him. But Maxwell can't be dropped as he brings a X-factor and can bowl a bit) 1 Sehwag 2 Pujara 3 Bailey (C) 4 Maxwell/S Marsh (if he's picked then he will open) 5 Miller 6 Saha (WK) 7 Akshar/Vohra/Gurkeerat 8 M Karthik 9 Johnson 10 Sandeep 11 Balaji.

    • Bpokhs on April 18, 2014, 8:10 GMT

      CSK - Playing 11 F Du Plessis - BB McCullum - Suresh Raina - Ms Dhoni - J Hastings - RA Jadeja Aparajith - R Ashwin - Samuel Badree - A Nehera - Mohit Sharma

    • John_Mil on April 18, 2014, 8:05 GMT

      Chennai is always the best under the lights of Dhoni.Both looks Good Team.Though I'm a Chennai Fan I'll support Punjab this time, because for Viru.I'm eager to see Viru to do all the fireworks and damage from the Top.He has the best strike rate than any one else in IPL history ,also in any form of ICC cricket event who has played more number of matches.Viru Rock..Rock..Rock...Expect you to see you soon in ICC event also.Please be a topper in this IPL tournament in terms of strike rate,runs,50s,100s,wickets etc...

    • on April 18, 2014, 8:05 GMT

      Chennai is always king even though some favorite players missing in this season.....Go CSK Go.

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:53 GMT

      cheetah of chepauk r abt to announce themselves....punjab luks a btr side then the last season..with detroyer maxi oooo ..bt its all abt mind games for DHONI

    • Y2G_87 on April 18, 2014, 6:32 GMT

      As the pitches in Abu Dhabi is slow one, it is better to have Pandey instead of Mohith because of height, I might sound silly but it matters, because we need to consider how effective Morkel was with his height, not comparing the class but only height, and should be supported by Nehra and Bravo for seam bowling.

      As Badree is in Ashwin will be bit releived that he may not require to open the bowling and can be used as a weapon given he is with the same form.

      So bowling attack looks really great Badree, Pandey, Nehra, Ashwin, Bravo and Jadeja looking really powerful also Raina will support the attack.

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:29 GMT

      this is the right time for sehwag to prove himself....johnsen want to help punjab to roar against CSK ...KXIP hadsome classic players like viru,,maxwell,,baily,,pujara,,marsh,,vohra,,etc..etc...its my dream that viru bhai want to hit four runs in his first ball he faced...he want to entertain his die hard fans...like me....CSK looks strong because they had players like MSD,,raina,,,bravo,,,jadu,,,ashwin,,,badree...faf....macullem.,,,etc....it would be a great battle between these two teams today...

    • ullasjp on April 18, 2014, 6:07 GMT

      my XI for csk FAF Aparjith raina mcullum dhoni bravo jadeja ashwin mohith nehara hilfenus.. based on pitch i wolud switch hifenus & badree

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:00 GMT

      B McCullum B Aparjith S Raina M Dhoni D Bravo R Jadeja R Ashwin J Hastings S Badree M Sharma A Nehra

    • deadite11 on April 18, 2014, 4:43 GMT

      6 Years before, lets look at historical moment where inaugral IPL had started, looks same as CSK facing first match against Kings 11 in mohali @ 4.pm, and very excellent close match as CSK won in an close margin. Now, CSK with moreover same team, same jersey, same sponsor against totally different punjab team. The only difference, punjab looks more stronger than before. Abu-dhabi is a slow bowling pitch so spin plays a crucial role. So my XI for csk is: Brendon, faf, raina, aparajith, msd, bravo, jaddu, ashwin, badree/matt, pandey, nehra.

    • on April 18, 2014, 2:41 GMT

      Chennai doesnt look strong in Pace department i think....

    • sazzad-BD007 on April 18, 2014, 2:12 GMT

      missing something in your preview...Why don't you give the pitch report and probable 11? The preview looks in complete without these 2 things.

    • on April 18, 2014, 0:28 GMT

      My csk X1 for the season opner 1 duplesis 2 mucullum 3 raina 4 aparajith/manhas 5 bravo 6 dhoni 7 jadeja 8 ashwin 9 badree/hilfenaus/henry/hastings 10 pandey 11 nehra

    • Siva_Bala75 on April 18, 2014, 0:04 GMT

      Dhoni-Fleming would go in for Badree-Baba Aparajit combo rather than McCullum-India pacer(Ishwar Pandey/ Nehra). Given the opposition that has so many overseas batters plus the conditions, Badree will be the preferred choice, unless they are worried about the Sehwag factor.

    • Samychennai on April 17, 2014, 23:54 GMT

      Punjab is having good players. Johnson, Vohra, Kartik, Balaji, Bailey, Miller are good players in this format. Anyhow Chennai is strong side and made for IPL.

      IPL is nothing but finding the best 11 against Chennai in final. My starting 11 for Chennai: 1)Mcllum 2) PAF 3) Raina 4) Bravo 5) Dhoni 6) Jadeja 7) Ashwin 8)Badree 9)B.Aparajit 10) Mohit 11) Nehra.

      If Bravo is not available could use Smith. I have selected Mcllum against smith bcoz Smith is struggling to handle the quality spin it will cost the RR in power play. So, PAF and Mcllum will handle the RR in initial overs.

      Iswar Pandey, Hilfy could be rotated if any one fails above.

      Chennai Super Kings ku whistle podu!

    • ladycricfan on April 17, 2014, 22:50 GMT

      Faf, aparajith, smith/Mac, Raina, Dhoni, Bravo ,Jadeja, Ashwin, Mohit, Pandey, Badree/Hilfenhaus.

    • Abbas67 on April 17, 2014, 21:00 GMT

      Possible playing XI : CSK : Smith Mccullum Raina Manhas Dhoni Bravo Jadeja Hastings Ashwin Nehra Pandey ... KXIP : Vohra Sehwag Bailey Pujara Maxwell Miller Saha Dhawan Johnson Kartik Balaji !

    • Kapeel on April 17, 2014, 20:59 GMT

      My XI for Punjab : 1) Sehwag 2) Vohra 3) Mandeep/Pujara 4) Bailey 5) Maxwell 6) Miller 7) Dhawan 8) Johnson 9) Balaji 10) M.Karthik 11) Awana For CSK : 1) Smith 2) McCullum 3) Raina 4) McCCulum 5) Dhoni 6) Bravo 7) Manhas 8) Jadeja 9) Ashwin 10) M.Sharma 11) Nehra

    • bowlfordecoy on April 17, 2014, 18:36 GMT

      Faf, (smith/mac), Raina,(aparjith/manhas), Dhoni , Bravo, Jadeja , Ashwin , (ben/matt/badree), Mohit ,(pandey/nehra). Given the form badree and smith are favourites ,aparjith would be preferred to do a badrinath's role and nehra would be preferred for experience (no kidding). Pitch and conditions increase chances of hilfy and ben into XI.However it goes its a formiddable team overall and I would love to see ashwin and badree bowl in tandem , top two bowlers in the t20 world cup, dhaka. Johnson and maxwell are gonna be the threats for CSK and a low depth batting and less spin options would be weaknesses for KXIP. I would surely back CSK for number of impact players including dhoni , smith , raina , ashwin who have proved time and again in IPL what they do.

    • on April 17, 2014, 18:27 GMT

      punjab are the favourites for me if they bat first..chennai are not renowed for chasing big and they also dont have a world class fast bowler to intimidate the opposition. ashwin and jadeja are not going to get the same help they got in UAE and i dont think they will play badree in that pitch. so my 11 for punjab 1. sehwag 2.pujara 3.maxwell 4.bailey 5.miller 6.saha/gurkeerat/manddep7.dhawan 8. johnson 9.awana 10.karthik 11.balaji/sandeep CHENNAI 1.mac 2.smith 3 raina 4.aprajith 5 dhoni 6 bravo 7.jadeja 8 .ashwin 9.hilfenahaus 10.pandey/nehra 11. sharma

    • StuddSundar on April 17, 2014, 17:45 GMT

      Dwayne Bravo is a big player to be missed for CSK, esp given the form he was in the T20 world cup. My CSK XI - Dwayne, Faf, Raina, Brendon, MSD, Jaddu, John Hastings, Ashwin, Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra. A mix of pace and spin for CSK. AbuDhabi wicket will have some carry for the pacers and Johnson will have a field day for Kings XI. What a contest......

    • phunny_game on April 17, 2014, 17:27 GMT

      Must say these previews are getting worse by the minute... Reading them feels like someone is writing them against his will. Anyway dont think Pujara will get a look in. Though Bailey, Miller, Johnson and Maxwell would be the likely 4, its really tough for the management to leave out someone like Marsh, who has been their best player over 6 years.

    • fanatics_cric on April 17, 2014, 17:20 GMT

      CSK lacks a strong number 4 bat. MSD has a huge task on hand as kings XI looks formidable.CSK will have to adopt a new strategy this season. Good luck CSK. May the best team win.

    • on April 17, 2014, 17:06 GMT

      Where was the kxip preview in that?

    • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on April 17, 2014, 17:00 GMT

      Considering how the opener on Wednesday went, KXIP's XI should be something like this: 1)Sehwag

      2)Vohra

      3)Maxwell

      4)Bailey

      5)Miller

      6)Saha

      7)Dhawan

      8)Akshar

      9)Johnson

      10)Sandeep/Balaji

      11)Kartik

      Here, Punjab has three pacers and 3 spinners to play around with. The pitch on Wed had a lot of bounce on offer so Johnson should be happy. Dhawan can provide good backup while the last seamer's spot can go to either Sandeep or Balaji. I would like them to try Sandeep as he has a knack for picking up wickets, but Balaji's Experience could come in handy. Kartik and Akshar Patel are both economical and should help tie down Chennai. The batting is strong too. With proper batsmen down to 6 and both Dhawan and Patel able to thonk the ball a bit, the batting runs deep. Johnson can also bat well. Maxwell and Bailey can switch around depending on the situation. Pujara could replace Vohra as well as solidity could help, but with Vohra and Sehwag we would have the makings of an explosive start

    • on April 17, 2014, 16:48 GMT

      This is gona be a great match !!! Panjab seems favourite..

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    • on April 17, 2014, 16:48 GMT

      This is gona be a great match !!! Panjab seems favourite..

    • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on April 17, 2014, 17:00 GMT

      Considering how the opener on Wednesday went, KXIP's XI should be something like this: 1)Sehwag

      2)Vohra

      3)Maxwell

      4)Bailey

      5)Miller

      6)Saha

      7)Dhawan

      8)Akshar

      9)Johnson

      10)Sandeep/Balaji

      11)Kartik

      Here, Punjab has three pacers and 3 spinners to play around with. The pitch on Wed had a lot of bounce on offer so Johnson should be happy. Dhawan can provide good backup while the last seamer's spot can go to either Sandeep or Balaji. I would like them to try Sandeep as he has a knack for picking up wickets, but Balaji's Experience could come in handy. Kartik and Akshar Patel are both economical and should help tie down Chennai. The batting is strong too. With proper batsmen down to 6 and both Dhawan and Patel able to thonk the ball a bit, the batting runs deep. Johnson can also bat well. Maxwell and Bailey can switch around depending on the situation. Pujara could replace Vohra as well as solidity could help, but with Vohra and Sehwag we would have the makings of an explosive start

    • on April 17, 2014, 17:06 GMT

      Where was the kxip preview in that?

    • fanatics_cric on April 17, 2014, 17:20 GMT

      CSK lacks a strong number 4 bat. MSD has a huge task on hand as kings XI looks formidable.CSK will have to adopt a new strategy this season. Good luck CSK. May the best team win.

    • phunny_game on April 17, 2014, 17:27 GMT

      Must say these previews are getting worse by the minute... Reading them feels like someone is writing them against his will. Anyway dont think Pujara will get a look in. Though Bailey, Miller, Johnson and Maxwell would be the likely 4, its really tough for the management to leave out someone like Marsh, who has been their best player over 6 years.

    • StuddSundar on April 17, 2014, 17:45 GMT

      Dwayne Bravo is a big player to be missed for CSK, esp given the form he was in the T20 world cup. My CSK XI - Dwayne, Faf, Raina, Brendon, MSD, Jaddu, John Hastings, Ashwin, Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra. A mix of pace and spin for CSK. AbuDhabi wicket will have some carry for the pacers and Johnson will have a field day for Kings XI. What a contest......

    • on April 17, 2014, 18:27 GMT

      punjab are the favourites for me if they bat first..chennai are not renowed for chasing big and they also dont have a world class fast bowler to intimidate the opposition. ashwin and jadeja are not going to get the same help they got in UAE and i dont think they will play badree in that pitch. so my 11 for punjab 1. sehwag 2.pujara 3.maxwell 4.bailey 5.miller 6.saha/gurkeerat/manddep7.dhawan 8. johnson 9.awana 10.karthik 11.balaji/sandeep CHENNAI 1.mac 2.smith 3 raina 4.aprajith 5 dhoni 6 bravo 7.jadeja 8 .ashwin 9.hilfenahaus 10.pandey/nehra 11. sharma

    • bowlfordecoy on April 17, 2014, 18:36 GMT

      Faf, (smith/mac), Raina,(aparjith/manhas), Dhoni , Bravo, Jadeja , Ashwin , (ben/matt/badree), Mohit ,(pandey/nehra). Given the form badree and smith are favourites ,aparjith would be preferred to do a badrinath's role and nehra would be preferred for experience (no kidding). Pitch and conditions increase chances of hilfy and ben into XI.However it goes its a formiddable team overall and I would love to see ashwin and badree bowl in tandem , top two bowlers in the t20 world cup, dhaka. Johnson and maxwell are gonna be the threats for CSK and a low depth batting and less spin options would be weaknesses for KXIP. I would surely back CSK for number of impact players including dhoni , smith , raina , ashwin who have proved time and again in IPL what they do.

    • Kapeel on April 17, 2014, 20:59 GMT

      My XI for Punjab : 1) Sehwag 2) Vohra 3) Mandeep/Pujara 4) Bailey 5) Maxwell 6) Miller 7) Dhawan 8) Johnson 9) Balaji 10) M.Karthik 11) Awana For CSK : 1) Smith 2) McCullum 3) Raina 4) McCCulum 5) Dhoni 6) Bravo 7) Manhas 8) Jadeja 9) Ashwin 10) M.Sharma 11) Nehra

    • Abbas67 on April 17, 2014, 21:00 GMT

      Possible playing XI : CSK : Smith Mccullum Raina Manhas Dhoni Bravo Jadeja Hastings Ashwin Nehra Pandey ... KXIP : Vohra Sehwag Bailey Pujara Maxwell Miller Saha Dhawan Johnson Kartik Balaji !