May 04, 2009

Chennai Team for Deccan Chargers Match

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Chennai Super Kings will be playing Deccan Chargers, the current leaders of IPL 2009, in today's match. Chennai Super Kings is upbeat from their comprehensive win against last year champion Rajasthan Royals and a close win against Delhi Daredevils. Deccan Chargers has been put off track a little from their two losses after four consecutive wins. Interestingly, the same two teams that lost to Chennai Super Kings have beaten Deccan Chargers recently. Yes, Deccan Chargers had lost to Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals.

Positive Changes for Chennai Super Kings
Chennai has made few changes in the last two matches to the team and the batting order that helped to restore some balance in the team.

1. Parthiv Patel was dropped and Murali Vijay replaced him as opener. Since Dhoni is wicket keeping, Vijay is a better option as opener. Sunil Gavaskar, in his commentary, said that Vijay is a test player. But, its fine for me if he can score 20 runs from 20 balls and gets out. Most importantly, he should be able to rotate strike with Hayden and score at not less than a run a ball.

2. Manpreet Gony was dropped and Tyagi came in his place. Tyagi bowled very well in the last two matches. His two wickets off two balls was crucial in Chennai taking an upper hand early in the match against Delhi Daredevils. The highlight is the first ball dismissal of AB de Villiers, the batsman who scored an unbeaten century the last time these two teams met.

3. Joginder Sharma was dropped finally and in came spinner Shadab Jakati in his place. What a match he had? He picked four wickets and set the match Chennai's way. He bowled a beauty to dismiss Tillakaratne Dilshan. The combination of Jakati and Murali should work well for Chennai Super Kings.

4. Badrinath was promoted to No.4 and he played exceptionally well in the last two matches. Badrinath was clueless when he came late in the innings, but he played crucial partnerships with Suresh Raina when he was promoted.

Team for Today's Match
It might look like Chennai has found the right combination and balance for the rest of the tournament. But, I still see their bowling a weak link in spite of their victories. I would prefer one more change to this line-up, bringing in Makhaya Ntini at the expense of Jacob Oram or Albie Morkel. Both these all-rounders have failed with the bat, but Albie Morkel bowled well in the last two matches. So, I would prefer to leave Jacob Oram for Ntini.

Remember that Deccan Chargers is heavily dependent on Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs at the top. The way they went after Chennai bowlers has won the match for them in the first meeting between these two teams in IPL 2009. A bowler of the calibre of Ntini would be ideal to contain the explosive batsmen.

If the team management feels that bringing in Ntini will expose the tail too early, drop Albie Morkel and bring in hard hitting youngster George Bailey in his place. We just saw how Warner can take the match away from the opposition. Why not give George Bailey a chance? After all, Albie Morkel did not play well so far. George Bailey might provide the much needed support to the consistently failing middle order. Chennai should be able to handle the bowling well with Ntini and Tyagi opening, followed by Murali, Jakati, Raina and Balaji in the middle overs.

My team for today's match would be:

1. Matthew Hayden
2. Murali Vijay
3. Suresh Raina
4. Badrinath
5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
6. Albie Morkel/ George Bailey
7. Shadab Jakati
8. L Balaji
9. Tyagi
10. Mutthiah Muralidaran
11. Makhaya Ntini


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