Chennai under immense pressure
by Asher Wilson

Scorecard:Chennai Super Kings v Lions
Event:Champions League 2012/13

DateLine: 16th October 2012


Super Kings v Lions Match Preview
Champions League 2012


The much hyped IPL teams have come 'a cropper' thus far in the CL T20 2012. The Lions have already roared, with Mumbai Indians the first casualty. Will CSK bite the dust today?


Chennai have already lost their opening game, and will be under immense pressure to win today. They will definitely look to notch-up their first points of the competition and give themselves a fair chance of making it to the semis. While they have players like Raina and Dhoni who are good at handling pressure situations, the problem is that besides Raina others are not looking in the best nick. The Lions, on the other hand, will want to strengthen their position in the points table whilst continuing their terrific early form.


Chennai's batting lineup is pretty much unchanged from their CLT20 winning team of 2010, with Ravindra Jadeja and Faf du Plessis being the only new faces. The key to their success will be their batting which is runs deep and has plenty of experience. Most of their batsmen are quite familiar with South African conditions, thus reducing the Lions' home advantage. Suresh Raina and Du Plessis will be expected to steer the middle order of the CSK innings and try to capitalize in the middle overs so that they set the stage for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co. to finish-off in style.


CSK's bowling poses a bit of concern. They may look to play Albie Morkel and / or Nuwan Kulasekara instead of either Doug Bollinger or Ben Hilfenhaus as both of the aforementioned bowlers are likely to get more swing compared to Bollinger or Hilfenhaus. They can also add some quick runs to CSK's total at the end of the innings. CSK may also look to play Shadab Jakati instead of Yo Mahesh as an additional spin option. Alternatively, they can play Wriddhiman Saha instead of Michael Hussey if they wish to include a foreign quickie instead of Yo Mahesh. However, it is unlikely that Hussey would be axed after just one failure.


One more defeat would put their semi-final chances in jeopardy as it will have them facing a must-win situation in the last two matches. Dhoni may also consider replacing paceman Yo Mahesh, who bowled a very expensive over of 18 runs and was never introduced into the attack again.


Lions, the local outfit, are also a good batting unit. Veteran Neil McKenzie along with Quinton de Kock mowed down the Mumbai Indians attack without any fuss and hammered the defending champions by eight wickets the other night.


Gulam Bodi and Alviro Petersen form a good experienced opening pair. However, the lower middle order will be exposed to the Super Kings’ bowling for the first time and these are players who have not faced an international level bowling attack before. Hence, CSK will look to pierce through the top and pressurize the middle order.


Their bowlers have done well especially fast bowler Dirk Nannes. The left-arm pacer bowled very tight as he gave away just 15 runs and also took a wicket. Except for Chris Morris everyone else bowled quite impressively in the game against Mumbai. They have a good mix of local experience and international talent. It will be a test for the bowlers to contain Chennai's batting firepower as they did in the game against Mumbai. A sixth bowler may be needed in case one of the five goes for one too many. Aaron Phangiso will be the wild card, if he can bowl a good spell, CSK can be contained in the middle overs. If CSK get the better of him, they can set the stage for the lower order to fire.


Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, S Badrinath, DE Bollinger, F du Plessis, BW Hilfenhaus, MEK Hussey, RA Jadeja, SB Jakati, KMDN Kulasekara, VY Mahesh, JA Morkel, SK Raina, WP Saha, M Vijay


Lions squad: AN Petersen, T Bavuma, GH Bodi, Z de Bruyn, Q de Kock, ND McKenzie, P Matshikwe, CH Morris, DP Nannes, E O'Reilly, AM Phangiso, D Pretorius, Sohail Tanvir, J Symes, TL Tsolekile

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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