CSK vs PBKS: Punjab Kings are rushing towards an awkwardly familiar area of needing to approach every remaining game as a must-win in order to secure their first playoff berth in eight editions, with three wins in seven outings and nesting in the unfavorable half of the points total. Chennai Super Kings, their opponents on Monday (April 25), is on the verge of qualifying, with the defending champions’ chances dangling by a thread following only two wins in seven games. Both are looking for a lifeline to keep their weak IPL 2022 campaigns afloat in each other’s agony.
With the exception of Liam Livingstone (226 runs, 3 half-centuries), who is among the season’s top-15 run-getters, their power-packed batting line-up, presumably their strength this season, has been hampered by inconsistency. With just 41 runs in four innings so far and an in-form replacement in Bhanuka Rajapaksa on the bench, Jonny Bairstow will be feeling the heat as Punjab’s desire for points intensifies. Another of Punjab’s pricey retentions, Shahrukh Khan, has struggled to live up to his billing, with his strike rate against spin being questioned.
Despite a shaky start to the season, Mukesh Choudhary was backed, and he delivered with the new ball against MI to secure the victory. Mahesh Theekshana has also been contributing consistently, but CSK’s main concern is their new captain Ravindra Jadeja’s lackluster form, who has failed to lead by example both with the bat and with the ball.
CSK vs PBKS: Match details
When: Monday, April 25th, 7:30 p.m. IST
Where: Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium
What to expect: The Wankhede pitches are putting up large totals again, and chasing has been the favored strategy at the venue. The last two games, however, have both been won by teams that successfully protected their enormous scores, with the Delhi Capitals being the victims on both occasions.
Face-to-face: PBKS 15-11 CSK Chennai leads the overall standings, however, the two clubs have met 14 times and won equally in the 14 games since Punjab last qualified for the top four (in 2014). PBKS defeated CSK at Brabourne Stadium earlier this season, bowling them out for 126 in a chase of 181 runs.
Also Read: IPL 2022: RR vs RCB Match 39 Prediction
CSK vs PBKS: Team-wise strategies and tactics
Chennai Super Kings
Punjab’s spinners had the lowest economy rate in IPL 2022, at 8.65, a flaw that CSK would be well aware of and exploit. Could this entice CSK to bring back Moeen Ali for the game, or possibly Jadeja to go up the order in order to get some much-needed runs? After a powerplay against a squad against whom he has scored five fifties and 630 runs at an average of 52.5, Dhoni holds the key.
Probable XI: Ravindra Jadeja (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner/Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Dwayne Bravo, Maheesh Theekshana, Mukesh Choudhary
Punjab would like to maintain it that way, as CSK’s opening pair has failed to cross 28, and the best a no. 3 batter has accomplished so far this season is Moeen Ali’s 35. Against that end, they may assign Arshdeep to (a struggling) Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has already been dismissed twice by the pacer in their IPL histories.
Probable XI: Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Mayank Agarwal (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow/Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Vaibhav Arora
CSK vs PBKS: Trivia
-Punjab’s pace bowlers have taken only 18 wickets in the IPL 2022 thus far, the fewest of the ten teams.
-In comparison to the other nine teams, CSK’s fluctuating top three have a combined total of 436 runs so far this season.
-After 27 innings against Chennai Super Kings, Shikhar Dhawan has an average of roughly 42 and needs 59 more runs to reach 1000 IPL runs against the four-time champions