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The Preview by Sidharth Monga
April 29, 2009
Match factsApril 30, 2009
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Surprise, surprise. The rematch of last's year's final will be played between a team trying to stay afloat in the middle of the table, and the other trying to wriggle out of the bottom two. Who would have thought?
Rajasthan Royals have been riding the talisman they call Shane Warne, and they would look for the same from their captain at SuperSport Park. Kamran Khan, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Munaf Patel have responded well to Warne's call. In their last game, against Delhi's mighty batting, the trio bowled 12 overs for 77 runs and five wickets. Warne has also been lucky that Yusuf Pathan has played two gems in both their wins.
Chennai Super Kings will know they can learn a lesson or two from their overperforming opponents. Not much has changed in their line-up from last year, but they seem to have lost the touch. The batsmen, despite Matthew Hayden's good form, have provided little joy, and the bowlers, except for Muttiah Muralitharan, have struggled. On paper, Chennai look the favourites, but the fact is they have won only one of their five games. They will also know if they lose tomorrow, they will have less points than Bangalore, having played the same number of games.
Chennai: His pace bowlers have given Dhoni the biggest headaches. They haven't been able to play Makhaya Ntini, and Manpreet Gony, L Balaji and Joginder Sharma have bowled too many length deliveries at around 125kmph. Gony has gone at 10 and over, and Joginder and Balaji at eight.
But Dhoni also finds himself in a scenario he is not used to: where he is not leading by example. He has been part of a middle order that has wasted the starts given by Hayden. To go with Dhoni's failures, S Badrinath has shown he is a misfit at No. 7 in a Twenty20 game, when there are only a few overs left and he has to hit right from ball one.
Watch out for
Rajasthan: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Swapnil Asnodkar, 3 Rob Quiney/Tyron Henderson/Lee Carseldine, 4 Yusuf Pathan, 5 Dimitri Mascarenhas, 6 Ravindra Jedeja, 7 Shane Warne (capt), 8 Mahesh Rawat (wk), 9 Abhishek Raut/Paul Valthaty/anybody, 10 Kamran Khan, 11 Munaf Patel.
Chennai's biggest problem has been the local players. If they have to play Ntini, they will have to forego either of Jacob Oram and Albie Morkel. And they could also want to play M Vijay ahead of Badri.
Chennai: (probable) 1 Parthiv Patel, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 5 Albie Morkel, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 S Badrinath/M Vijay, 8 Joginder Sharma, 9 L Balaji, 10 Manpreet Gony, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
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