April 20, 2009

Chennai Super Kings Team for Today's Match

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Chennai Super Kings team lost their opening match against Mumbai Indians by 19 runs. Today, they will be facing the upbeat Bangalore Royal Challengers, who are leading the points table.

Chennai Super Kings' Error in Judgement
In my opinion, Chennai Super Kings made the first major mistake by not playing spinner Mutthiah Muralidaran. Ashwin, selected as a spinner, did not get a single over to bowl. It is clearly evident that the spinners are playing vital roles in each team in IPL 2009. Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori and Pragyan Ojha have all played match-winning/ match-turning performances in this tournament. Shane Warne, though in the losing team, bowled an inspiring spell against Bangalore Royal Challengers. So, Murali has to come in to the team, most probably replacing Ashwin, immediately.

Exclusion of South Africans
For reasons outside the game, it seems Albie Morkel could not be included in the first match. Another South African Makhaya Ntini was also not included. It is time to include one of them into the Chennai Super Kings team. Their experience and local knowledge should be handy.

Batting Order
I was not happy with the batting order. Andrew Flintoff was sent in at No. four. With due respects to Freddie, he is not suited to the role. He should be coming at No. 6 or No. 7. Dhoni should promote himself up the order, either at No. 3 or at No. 4. Chennai Super Kings also made the mistake of sending Joginder Sharma ahead of Thilan Thushara in the first match. Thushara is a better batsman and has good international exposure compared to Joginder Sharma. Thushara played some good knocks against the Indians in one day matches.

While Mathew Hayden is the key opening batsman, Parthiv Patel is a make-shift opener and his skill will be tested. The mode of his dismissal in the first match has to be looked at closely. Since Dhoni is not going to don the gloves, Parthiv Patel is a certainty in the team. Should he open the batting? Why not include and try a much better player like Murali Vijay?

Probable Team
I prefer to have the following team and batting order against Bangalore Royal Challengers:

1. Mathew Hayden
2. Murali Vijay
3. Suresh Raina
4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
5. S. Badrinath
6. Andrew Flintoff
7. Albie Morkel
8. Parthiv Patel (Wicket-keeper)
9. Joginder Sharma
10. Manpreet Gony
11. Muthiah Muralidaran


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