The man mountain made short work of the attack with the long handle. Indeed, the smaller chunk of wood was employed with minimum fuss and maximum impact by Matthew Hayden. His bat speed with the mongoose — its handle is about 43 per cent longer and the blade around 33 per cent shorter — appeared enhanced

The man mountain made short work of the attack with the long handle. Indeed, the smaller chunk of wood was employed with minimum fuss and maximum impact by Matthew Hayden.

The left-handed opener's mongoose-bat demolition of Delhi Daredevils' bowling made compelling viewing. The Australian opener's 43-ball 93 was high on octane and low on respite for the opposition.

Need for power

Hayden striking form — with whichever bat — is good news for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He is still influential and can still strike the ball with immense power. With skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni out with an elbow injury till CSK's away game against Mumbai Indians on March 25, CSK needs this Australian's solidity.

Hayden will be a clear and present danger to the struggling Kings XI Punjab in the IPL game here at Chepauk on Sunday night. CSK, having won its away games in Kolkata and Delhi, has two wins in three games. The Punjab side has lost all its three matches so far.

Hayden's bat speed with the mongoose — its handle is about 43 per cent longer and the blade around 33 per cent shorter — appeared enhanced.

“He has been practising with it for long. Perhaps, there is more power in the hitting zone,” said CSK coach Stephen Fleming.

In Dhoni's absence, Suresh Raina has skippered the side well and batted with both responsibility and flair. In the bowling department, the lanky Lakshmipathy Balaji has upped his pace and is hitting the deck harder with a fine wrist and seam position.

Missing Lee

Skipper Sangakkara is a match-winner, so is Mahela Jayawardene. However, Kings XI Punjab requires Yuvraj Singh to fire. It also needs Irfan Pathan — he dazzled with the willow against Deccan Chargers in a last gasp effort — and Santhakumaran Sreesanth to take wickets upfront and Piyush Chawla to be influential with his leg-spin.

The side is desperately missing the injured Brett Lee's bowling at the death.

The side will have to believe in itself. This game is all about confidence.

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