Kings XI Punjab v Super Kings, IPL 2014, Cuttack May 6, 2014

Lead at stake in top-of-table clash

25

Match facts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Play 03:54
Hattangadi: CSK predictable in unpredictable format

Big picture

Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab are No.1 and No. 2 in the points table, separated by a slender two-point margin. Kings XI, however, have a game in hand. While most IPL teams have holes in their batting line-up, such concerns barely merit second thought for these two sides. Much of their success in the tournament so far has revolved around the top-order's reliability. Glenn Maxwell is a bank for Kings XI Punjab at No.3, and Dwayne Smith is coming off his fourth half-century in seven matches for Chennai Super Kings.

Both teams had initially found bowling resources scarce, but the depth of their squads offered appropriate remedy. Both MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming have lauded the balance of their side. Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma have ensured their side can field a daunting set of overseas batsmen and have changed perception that spin is Super Kings' strong suit.

Their opposition has been infused with early venom in the form of Sandeep Sharma's accurate and appreciable swing. Against a line-up that has been buoyed by their opening stand - Smith and Brendon McCullum have scored 616 of Super Kings' 1139 runs so far - Sandeep and Mitchell Johnson might well be carrying the match on their shoulders during their first spell. A lack of early inroads contributed to Super Kings amassing 205 in Abu Dhabi, but Maxwell and Miller overhauled the target with an over the spare.

Kings XI are carrying a few straggling batsmen in their ranks. Virender Sehwag played some sparkling cameos but has not blossomed further. George Bailey has looked decidedly nervous, especially when introduced against spin, and is also keeping out a reputed performer in Shaun Marsh. With the season in full swing, it is time Kings XI found assistance for Maxwell and Miller.

Form guide (most recent first)

Chennai Super Kings: WWWWW
Kings XI Punjab: LWWWW

Watch out for…

The last time these two teams met Ben Hilfenhaus was relegated to the bench. Since gaining his opportunity, the Australian seamer has given Super Kings excellent balance. Although Cuttack is not the most inviting prospect for an outswing bowler, it is a testament to his performance with the new ball and at the death that the No.1-ranked T20 bowler Samuel Badree is yet to get a game.

Akshar Patel enjoyed a run of four successive matches, conceding well under six an over until he was flayed by Mumbai Indians. Without much variation, aside from the odd one that doesn't spin, his control of flight has surprised batsmen - especially those who go at him too hard, like the audaciously in-form Super Kings' openers.

Stats and trivia

  • This will be the first time Chennai Super Kings will play in Cuttack
  • A Super Kings-Kings XI match on average produces 325 runs

Quotes

"I would credit Robin [Singh] for working with me, especially helping me get control of my game."
Dwayne Smith reveals the secret behind his successful adaptation to subcontinent conditions

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on May 7, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    will love to see maxwell

  • android_user on May 7, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Isn't 6.5 crores really expensive for someone to warm bench or is it me thinking poor?

  • android_user on May 7, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    giants are clashing today.big difference in csk is nehra is not there who drop sitter of maxwell .so csk has chance to win this game

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Need high scoring game, viru gonna blast today, intersted to see viru vs mohit,ashwin vs maxwell ,jaddu vs miller

  • Isaac on May 7, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Will be interesting to see what Maxwell will do today. He was indeed looking invincible in the UAE leg. In the last few matches he looks mortal. CSK will be looking to get back at Maxwell for what he did to them in the first encounter. Interesting battle ahead.

  • CricketMaan on May 7, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    Good challenge for Smith and Mac coz Sandeep, Mitch, Dhawan are all in good nip and if they fail a huge test for the middle order which has not been challenged enough. Would love to see Max vs Ash and Jaddu today.

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    all unchanged sides but this punjabs game

  • android_user on May 7, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    Why isnt kings xi playing the likes of mandeep singh, manan vohra & gurkeerat singh in place of pujara & saha.. After these changes kings xi would form a formidable batting order

  • SamWintson92 on May 7, 2014, 9:50 GMT

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

    KXIP XI: (Unchanged) 1 Sehwag 2 Pujara 3 Saha (WK) 4 Maxwell 5 Miller 6 Bailey (C) 7 Akshar 8 Johnson 9 R Dhawan 10 Balaji 11 Sandeep.

    CSK can bring in Badree for Du Plessis & Aparajith for Ishwar but again I don't think CSK will try out this combination as they are winning & perhaps doesn't want to weaken their batting even a bit to improve their bowling with Badree as cricket is batsman's game.

  • mjrvasu on May 7, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Instead of wasting FAF, better to get Badree and strengthen CSK's bowling attack, and to counter Mad Max and Killer Miller.

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