Bangalore v Chennai, CLT20, 1st semi-final, Durban September 23, 2010

Teams pin hopes on seamers


You get a sense of what to expect on Friday. Royal Challengers Bangalore will most likely hit Chennai Super Kings with bouncers. Even the Central Districts bowlers did it to Chennai on the same Durban pitch a few days back. And it had nearly worked. Even without any fiercely fast bowlers. Bangalore have Dale Steyn and it will be interesting to see how the Indian batsmen in the Chennai line-up handle him.

S Badrinath has the upper-cut over the slips as his main option against bouncers, Suresh Raina is yet to develop a proper defensive or attacking option against the same delivery and S Anirudha is an unknown quantity. M Vijay has shown a tendency to land in trouble, trying to pull deliveries from well outside off when it's banged in short. It's still not clear whether it's due to an eagerness to show he can pull, or a sign of nerves that clouds his decision-making ability. You sense that the middle order can quickly disintegrate under pressure. And so, Steyn's little spell in the middle overs will be crucial. If he can get his radar right, it can get really interesting. He has, at times, got it wrong as well. In this short format, the plans can boomerang and go awry awfully quickly.

Anil Kumble knows it. When asked whether he would be deploying the bouncer-strategy, he preferred to play his cards close to his chest. "We have our plans. You will see tomorrow. But it all depends how we execute the plans. We have been successful in the past at times and we have not been successful also on a couple of occasions. It will depend on the pitch and conditions. Your plans have to be very fluid in this format." Bangalore will miss Jacques Kallis the bowler. In this year's IPL, Steyn and Kallis had waylaid visiting batsmen with bouncers on their home track in Bangalore.

Bangalore lost both the games they played in Durban in this tournament but Kumble chose to remember the contest from last year when they beat Chennai at the same venue in the IPL semi-final. "We need to take confidence that we really did well against Mumbai and it was a narrow loss. Last time we played Chennai here in Durban we won; that's what we would take rather than think we haven't won a game here this time."

Chennai didn't practice on Friday. They just came in from Port Elizabeth. At the end of last league game against the Warriors, Dhoni was asked about the clash with Bangalore and he shared his concerns about his fast bowlers. "I think our fast bowlers will have to pull up their socks. They will have to do definitely well in the coming game. There have been weak links where we need to improve. The spinners have done the job for us so far. Hopefully, on the Durban pitch, the fast bowlers will do well for the team."

Dhoni also said he might use Justin Kemp slightly higher up the order on the Durban pitch. "In the last couple of games, the tracks have been quite slow and low which means [they act] more like a sub-continental pitch. So, players like Anirudha could really contribute."

Dhoni added he wasn't too concerned about the fact that Bangalore have played couple of games in Durban. "I believe that a Twenty20 game is about that particular day. What the situation is like and what the condition is like. I think they have played a couple of games. And including the warm-up games we too have played the same amount of games in Durban. I don't think that it will make much of a difference."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sweetspot on September 29, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    SurlyCynic and Drelan... easy to criticize now in hindsight, but none of you RCB supporters seem to have noticed one simple thing about CSK - they seem to have a great time playing and winning, and don't look like their houses got burnt even when they lose. Your team always looks like they are attending their mothers' funeral. Why is Kumble scowling and yelling at young players and acting like he is having a mental breakdown? Maybe he is?

  • ModestFan on September 24, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    I saw Craig White's comments saying that "more to come from Bangalore". What more Bangalore?? You have been thrashed and blown away by CSK. Well done...!!! I wish Kings XI Punjab to win the Champions Trophy next time. That's an awesome team and the best in IPL. Just like Preeti....*****

  • Balaji.Purushotham on September 24, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    Oh Rain!!!!!, Not Again!!!!!!!!! Hope it stops ASAP. Wishing CSK to win the Match and the Final. The Batting Firepower of Vijay, Hussey, Raina, Badri, Dhoni, Morkel, Anirudh and the Bowling of Bollinger, Murali, Ashwin, Morkel, Balaji is more than enough for the woefull bangalore with lot of players yet to get into form. CSK Rocks !!!!!!!!!

  • dhoni_sachin_fan on September 24, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    @drelan Wake up from your dream. RCB has a weak bowling attack. CSK have to watch out for kumble and steyn. bowling is gonna be the difference between the sides

  • kamkri on September 24, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    CSK have bowled so well in this tournament that they are the only team to have restricted the total runs scored against them to 485 in 80 overs; quite an enviable statistics. I,as an Indian, would not mind either of the two team going to the Final but I prefer CSK to RCB only because they have a better chance of winni9ng the Final too!

  • maddy20 on September 24, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    As an Indian supporter I am just glad that one Indian team will make it to the final. I might eel a little bit better if that team is RCB

  • Razor88 on September 24, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Kumble gonna Spin CSK top order ?!? i seriously don't get who's was a FLUKE .. Robin's Knock or Vijay's.... seriously Lookin for a Close Finish.But With No Kallis its gonna be Interesting one.....I wish Anirudh Opens And Hussey plays No4 After Raina...Cause I feel Dhoni,Kemp/Morkel and Hussey should think abt what target to set them... On the other hand with Vijay in the kind of nick he is in and if Anirudh can get us to a start, Things Can get really Interesting ...... But Chennai have had a Mixed Bag in Fielding .... THERE IS NOTHING BETWEEN THE 2 SIDES BUT THE SIDE WHO FIELDS BETTER WILL WIN .... But happy to see TEAM INDIA in the Finals....

  • frozeninusa on September 24, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    If Morkel is fit, Chennai should play him in place of Murali. Otherwise play Hayden in place of Murali and get Balaji in place of Anirudha. Given that Banglore is mostly Indian batting lineup, Murali is likely not going to be the trump in this match. With both Hayden and Hussey along with Dhoni, Raina, and Vijay, the batting lineup will be really strong. Ashwin and Jakati have done pretty well as spinners. Chennai's weakness is in pace department with Bollinger being the only good fast bowler in the team.

  • dummy4fb on September 24, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    CSK the Team which clearly know how to win games @ crucial times...... they have proved it b4.....RCB, well they have lot of things to solve....heavily depends on their Foreign players.....hope they Fire to bring down the Confident CSK..... CSK has the Upper hand..... they have solid Indian talents in their line up who can handle Bouncers and score from short stuffs :-)

  • StarveTheLizard on September 24, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    I think the CSK team will win. Dhoni is the better captain. RCB have lost Kallis. That has to weaken their cause! Finally, Premanandh, has his catchy little slogan here.

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