Batting is Super Kings’ strong suit

April 22nd, 2008 - 9:45 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Chennai, April 22 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni virtually spelt out his team’s strategy when they play host to Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament at the decked up M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, here Wednesday. While admitting to a thin bowling attack and “average” fielding, Dhoni said his team would be looking up to their frontline batsmen to put sufficient runs on the board or provide momentum in case of a chase.

Either way, the Super Kings, who look better equipped in batting, would be keen to sustain their winning momentum after handing out a 33-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab in their league opener last week.

In contrast, Mumbai Indians, after going down to Bangalore Royal Challengers in their first match at home, would be under pressure to open their account on the points table.

Much of discussion on Mumbai Indians centred on Sachin Tendulkar’s fitness as he missed the first game owing to a groin injury and there are no indications whether he would be available for Wednesday’s match.

The pitch for the game was shorn of grass and appeared full of runs. If so, it would suit the home team that boasts of a strong and deep batting line-up with Michael Hussey, century-maker at Mohali, in top form.

The Super Kings would be hoping that opener Matthew Hayden would fire on all cylinders on the morrow while Dhoni himself is keen to get some runs under his belt.

Dhoni made it clear that he would prefer batting in the middle-order rather than open the innings, though he did not discount such a possibility.

On their part, Mumbai Indians too have a capable set of batsmen led by Sanath Jayasuriya at the top of the order with Robin Uthappa, who struck a fine 48 in the previous game, lending solidity in the middle.

Further down the order is the ever-dangerous all-rounder Shaun Pollock who scored a rapid 28 to boost the Mumbai total in the previous game. The former South African star could play a decisive role with the ball too as he appeared to be in top form against the Challengers. Pollock might have lost a few yards in pace, but has the experience to keep the batsmen in check.

Meanwhile, the stadium wore a festive look with banners and buntings while a stage was being readied at the Walajah Road end for a cultural show that would precede the match.

Teams:

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Viraj Vilas Kadbe, Palani Amarnath, Manpreet Gony, Srikkanth Anirudha, R Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Napoleon Einstein, Stephen Fleming, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Arun Karthik, Suresh Kumar, Albie Morkel, Abhinav Mukund, Muttiah Muralitharan, Makhaya Ntini, Jacob Oram, Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Suresh Raina and Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan.

Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), Loots Bosman, Dwayne Bravo, Ankeet Chavan, Siddharth Chitnis, Gaurav Dhiman, Dilhara Fernando, Harbhajan Singh, Sanath Jayasuriya, Musavir Khote, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Rajesh Pawar, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohan Raje, Luke Ronchi, Pinal Shah (wicketkeeper), Swapnil Singh, Yogesh Vijay Takawale (wicketkeeper), Dominic Thornely, Saurabh Tiwary, Robin Uthappa, Vikrant Yeligati, Lasith Malinga

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