These are early days in the Indian Premier League. Hence, it’s futile to read too much into a win or loss.
Following a week of low-scoring action, the sequence of results is much like last year’s. Rajasthan Royals was quickly off the blocks while more popular teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore encountered defeat.
With its pride bruised following the defeat in the campaign-opener to Mumbai Indians, CSK can be expected to come hard at an otherwise upbeat host KXIP on Wednesday.
The clash between the two ‘Kings’, involving a battle of wits featuring two wicketkeeper-captains known for their savage stroke-play, promises to be full of fireworks.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming have minced no words in slamming the batsmen for the nine-run defeat suffered at home. But considering CSK’s potential, a strong performance may well be round the corner.
KXIP, not among the favourites to make the playoffs, is happy with the underdog tag. It has a few lesser-known local talents who stand to gain immensely from the experience-rich core of the team.
Adam Gilchrist’s men have an added reason to rejoice in the crushing eight-wicket triumph over Pune Warriors India since it broke the ‘hoodoo’ of KXIP starting its campaign with a loss!
Poor home record
CSK leads KXIP 6-4 in head-to-head clashes. However, KXIP can draw much from the fact that it has won the previous three encounters, including the last time the teams played here in 2011.
In that big-scoring clash, the host chased down 189 with opener Paul Valthaty smashing a match-winning unbeaten 120. But overall, KXIP has a poor home record.
Since KXIP has hired Chennai-based W.V. Raman as an assistant coach this season, it will be interesting to see how he contributes to the team’s cause. The former India Test batsman, who now coaches Bengal’s Ranji Trophy team, is known for his astute reading of the game.
Therefore, Raman’s inputs could be crucial for KXIP, especially against CSK and KKR.
Everything considered, KXIP has the ability to hurt this yet-to-settle Chennai team. But should Dhoni’s men play to their potential, there is only one result possible.