Bangalore v Chennai, CLT20, 1st semi-final, Durban

Teams pin hopes on seamers

Sriram Veera in Durban

September 23, 2010

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn sends one down at great pace, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Guyana, Champions League Twenty20, Centurion, September 12, 2010
Dale Steyn's spell in the middle overs could prove crucial © Associated Press

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

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Posted by 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?

Posted by 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....*****

Posted by 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 !!!!!!!!!

Posted by 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

Posted by 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!

Posted by 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

Posted by 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....

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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 :-)

Posted by 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.

Posted by gannyboy on (September 24, 2010, 9:40 GMT)

The presence of Albie Morkal means a lot to the CSK if he is fit then they can go in with the three spinners which has been there strength and I would like to see Srikant open the innings as you need atleast one power hitter at the top. RCB has an upper hand in this game for sure.

Posted by Balaji.Purushotham on (September 24, 2010, 9:38 GMT)

Hi drelan, Wait, Wait, you talk about Chennai's only loss by a Tie. What about the 2 losses of Bangalore. Pls check the top 10 bowlers and top 10 batsmen in this tournament. Then you can decide who's performance is fluke.

Posted by A.Ak on (September 24, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

It's going to be a great test of temperament and talent of young players. For CSK - Vijay has been very very good, Hussey just hit his form, Raina - he is not consistent but when he does score, all know what he can do, Badrinath - Technically strong in the line up, he is always delivers when required, Dhoni - looks like Dhoni. For RCB - Dravid - the wall, Kholi, White, Pandey - just found their form. Ross Taylor - is the man to watch out, if he fires then RCB will be the winner. Bowlers are fairly equal - Kumble- Murali, Steyn - Bolinger. The best team of the day will win. Great entertainment awaits.

Posted by CSK-FAN on (September 24, 2010, 8:46 GMT)

I sense a good match.Hope it will be so! If CSK play and just apply themselfs thay can get through. CSK must try not to hit 4s and 6s by pulling bouncers atleast till 12 overs! RCB will come good if Rahul holds one end!

Posted by CSK-FAN on (September 24, 2010, 8:46 GMT)

I sense a good match.Hope it will be so! If CSK play and just apply themselfs thay can get through. CSK must try not to hit 4s and 6s by pulling bouncers atleast till 12 overs! RCB will come good if Rahul holds one end!

Posted by Apache_Indian on (September 24, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

Whoever wins I don't care much, I just hope either Dhoni or Kumble lifts the CL cup.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2010, 8:32 GMT)

I Think Bangalore Will Be Bat First And Put Huge Score Then Chennai Will Chase It,Like In IPL 2010 Quarter Final Match Against Punjab. Then Chennai Will Chase Decent Score In Final And Won The Champions League Like In IPL 2010 Final.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2010, 8:09 GMT)

Its ICE MAN vs the IRON MAN today. Mind games are gonna take the reigns. Yippeee.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2010, 7:56 GMT)

I wish anyone of the teams lift the Champions League Twenty20 cup :)

Posted by Balaji.Purushotham on (September 24, 2010, 6:07 GMT)

CSK has been the most consistent IPL Team. CSK had lost their only match by a Tie and Super over. All CSK Batsmen and Bowlers and Fielders are in good form. So, CSK will Win the CLT20. CSK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by yorkerguru on (September 24, 2010, 4:58 GMT)

This is a good game!! Cricket fans would have loved a clash between Dhoni and Sachin but unlucky. Still The pitch and condition doesn't matter in a Semifinal because it's your talent and team which have to win your games.. if you lose it clearly says you don't deserve to play the finals!!! another nailbiting, last ball finsh????? who knows... I bet on Bengaluru... But being a Chennaite have to support my team :D

Posted by SPS1 on (September 24, 2010, 4:53 GMT)

Best comment was posted by "virology" - "I hope Indian team get ready for the series against Australia" - Probably the best one liner ever... Especially considering almost the entire Australian team has arrived in India many days in advance to gear up. Compare this to the series when India will tour South Africa later this year. India will arrive 2 days ahead of the first Test and no practice matches..

Posted by Gerrie on (September 24, 2010, 4:45 GMT)

Well off course they did not practise on Friday! It's not even 7AM yet!

Posted by   on (September 24, 2010, 4:26 GMT)

Its a great contest to watch! Kumble Vs Murali. Captain Cool (Dhoni) Vs Captain Hot (Kumble)

Posted by   on (September 24, 2010, 4:10 GMT)

Its going to be day for C....... S......... K............. Dhoni could handle any tough situation than RCB. You could see the past results itself in this CLT20 2010. only one match loosed closely. No doubts its going to one & only CSK..............

Posted by drelan on (September 24, 2010, 3:49 GMT)

RCB is going to blast CSK in all corners. Dhoni has gone clueless , as we saw in the encounter against Victoria Bushrangers; Murali Vijay is hitting by fluke; Raina is dreaming about becoming captain (silently behind Dhoni) ; Hayden is there to score a first ball duck; Hussey has to give way for Hayden anyway; Ashwin's head will be spinning more than his ball; Bollinger will be smashed by Uthappa and Kohli all over the park, Murali's spin will be tackled by Dravid and the entire CSK batsmen will be spinned down by Kumble. Go RCB, Go! Knock off Chennai.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2010, 0:49 GMT)

RCB has a very good batting line up than chennai. Kohli is in form and dravid is also garnering some runs with decent strike rate. If taylor or white or pandey and Uttapa blast few runs then RCB are bound to win..there is no cracker of a bats man in chennai. so RCB all the best..

Posted by virology on (September 24, 2010, 0:41 GMT)

I hope Indian team get ready for the series against Australia.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2010, 23:31 GMT)

i totally agree..Time for Hayden to retire.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2010, 23:21 GMT)

CSK will beat RCB in today's match!!! Albie must play in today's encounter, if he is fit... Morkel's bowling was missed in last two matches and He is a better striker than kemp...CSK can play with 2 spinners( ashwin and murali)... joginder sharma can replace jakati.... if joginder has an off day, then dhoni will compensate those overs with raina... Hope DHONI wins the toss and elects to bat first and post a target of 165-180 and beats the RCB!!!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 23, 2010, 21:51 GMT)

RCB will dominate, even without Kallis. Time for Hayden to retire.

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