After losing their opening match, Chennai Super Kings will return to their den – MA Chidambaram Stadium – for the first home match of the season against Lucknow Super Giants in Chennai on April 3, 2023 and will be aiming to win.
When Mahendra Singh Dhoni leads his team in Chennai, the four-time champions will, without doubt, get a rousing welcome as CSK return to Chepauk after almost four years.
Despite a brilliant knock from the classy Ruturaj Gaikwad, the rest of the batsmen could not help CSK post a big total. The fans of the team would be hoping that the strong batting line-up rises to the occasion.
Gaikwad toyed with the Gujarat Titans bowlers and made the batting look easy. His exit slowed things down and CSK could only manage a modest total, which the defending champions chased down.
Bought for ₹16.25 crore, England superstar Ben Stokes will be eager to showcase his abilities in the team’s opening home match and set the pace for a long season ahead.
If the batsmen’s inability to force pace in the middle overs is a cause for concern, then the bowling could be a bigger problem.
The Titans’ batting line-up cannot be restricted and skipper Dhoni will be hoping for a better performance from the bowlers.
Dhoni, who had some big hits against Josh Little in Ahmedabad, would be hoping that the batsmen do better and don’t leave much for him at the back end.
He would like to open the points table in front of the Chepauk crowd, but it will require a very good performance.
The relief for CSK will be a return to familiar conditions at the Chidambaram Stadium where spinners are expected to play a big role, as was seen in the India-Australia 3rd ODI here 10 days ago.
Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner didn’t have much of an impact in the season opener, and will be hoping to carry on into Monday’s game.
Also, CSK can play the role of an additional spinner in the XI. With Sri Lankan spinner Mahesh Thikshana unavailable for the team’s first three matches, it will be interesting to see who gets picked to bolster the spin bowling department.
Coach Stephen Fleming said after the loss to Titans that the team was “a bit of a match underdone” and CSK would be expected to step up as the tournament progresses.
Up against the four-time champions is the KL Rahul-led LSG, who must have been buoyed by their comprehensive win over the Delhi Capitals on Saturday night.
Kyle Mayers launched a fiery attack at the top for the Super Giants and his performance will be crucial on a wicket that is not conducive to over-the-top aggression.
Skipper Rahul, who has been under scrutiny for his extended run of below-par scores in the recent past, will have Nicolas Poorus and Marcus Stoinis as the other key batsmen for the LSG.
CSK batsmen will have to be careful with pacer Mark Wood, who dashed Delhi’s hopes with his triple strike. His blistering pace could pose some problems to the strong batting unit of the home side.
Also, LSG spinners Ravi Bishnoi and K Gautam will have a big role to play if the team hopes to keep the opposition batsmen in check.
The key to the result is an interesting battle at the hands of the bowlers.
Chennai Super KingsSquad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Sisanda Magala, Shivam Dube, Dwayne Pretorius, Ajay Mandal, Nishant Sindhu, Rajvardhan Hangergekar, Mitchell Santner, Subharnshu Senapati, Simarjeet Singh, Mathisha Pathirana, Mahesh Thikshana, Bhagat Verma, Prashant Solanki, Sheikh Rasheed, Tushar Deshpande.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c & wk), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Kunal Pandya, Amit Mishra, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Naveen-ul-Haq, Ayush Badoni, Avesh Khan, Karan Sharma, Yudhveer Charak, Yash Thakur, Romario Shepherd, Mark Wood , Swapnil Singh, Manan Vohra, Daniel Symes, Prerak Mankad, Krishnappa Gautam, Jaydev Unadkat, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi, Mayank Yadav.
Match will start at 7.30 pm