Lions of Den as they are called, Defending champions Chennai Super Kings, who are currently at second half of points table, would look to get over the disappointment of three losses when they take on Pune Warriors on Thursday and Rajasthan Royals on Saturday on their home turf, aiming to extract revenge on the visitors for defeat in their previous IPL matches. With three defeats from five games so far, including the one against Pune Warriors, the Super Kings have just four points. But they were in a familiar situation in the previous two editions of the tournament, but came back strong from there.
The Pune team under leadership of Ganguly is looking good, who have six points and better net run-rate than Chennai. The Super Kings would be looking towards their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to provide some spark, like he did in the previous seasons, which had turned their fortunes around.The hosts would be happy to be playing in front of their home crowd and hope to repeat their performance of the last game here when they snatched a sensational five-wicket victory in the very last ball against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chennai will also take heart from the fact that the three defeats that they have suffered this season were close matches and the reverses were mainly due to their inability to fire as a unit. Skipper Sourav Ganguly has his work cut out, having lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore last night in a thriller at Bangalore. And the onus is on him to regroup his forces and renew their assault that they have displayed in this season. Ganguly is yet to play to his potential and the Warriors would hope him to fire against the defending champions.
Thursday’s battle appears to be between equals with the pressure more on the hosts. CSK are looking to take revenge of defeat to PW. Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming was optimistic of his team’s chances ahead of their Indian Premier League match against Pune Warriors India here on Thursday despite losing the services of South African all-rounder Albie Morkel, who has gone back home to attend the funeral of a close friend.
Next, CSK take on resurgent Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. Rajasthan Royals has been on a roll with good wins under belt. The lone century-maker in this edition of the Indian Premier League, Ajinkya Rahane being labelled as a replacement for the recently-retired Rahul Dravid. Rahane, who is the currently the `Orange Cap` holder, is aware of the adulation and wants to continue with the job. Along with Rahane England batsman Owais Shah’s impressive performances has put RR on the top of points table.
CSK are formidable at their den, would be looking forward to win the two games at home to get on winning streak, but they shouldn’t expect it to be easy against PWI and RR.