Super Kings fancy themselves against Trinidad & Tobago

October 1st, 2011 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 1 (IANS) With the semifinals spots still up for grabs, the Chennai Super Kings and Trinidad and Tobago would be pulling out all stops when they clash Sunday in a Group A game of the Champions League T20 tournament.

Defending champions Super Kings, despite their settled line-up that is flush with talent, youth and experience, haven’t quite looked the part. They started their campaign with a shock defeat to Mumbai Indians, the current Group A leaders with five points, before scrambling to a win over Nashua Cape Cobras who are now placed second with three points.

Yet, as their track record suggests, the Super Kings, led by their lucky mascot Mahendra Singh Dhoni, can never be written off until the last ball is bowled, for they have bounced back from more precarious positions.

On paper, the Super Kings appear far superior to the Daren Ganga-led Trinidad and Tobago — who have lost both their matches and seem to be short on experience and big occasion players, although their enthusiasm and athleticism have somewhat compensated for the absence of established stars.

Sunday, the Caribbean champions would require all of that and much more to pull off a shocker against a side that has lost only once at the hallowed Chepauk in previous 10 outings.

Trinidad are obviously missing two key players in Kieron Pollard (now with Mumbai Indians) and Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings) whose presence would have transformed an also-ran team to a contender as was the case in 2009 when they reached the final before losing to New South Wales Blues.

In fact, Bravo played a match-winning knock for the Super Kings earlier this week with a 25-ball 46 not out, besides taking two wickets, as the champions swept to a last over win against the Cobras.

If Trinidad and Tobago are without a win, then they have themselves to blame. Against the Cobras in the opening game, they were in a winning position, but lost in the Super Over following a tie. In their next outing, they had Mumbai, chasing 99, on the mat at 75 for seven, but a last over miss on a run out cost them the game.

In contrast, the Super Kings threatened to score a runaway win over Mumbai Indians in their opening game, but contrived to lose, conceding 47 runs in the last four overs. However, the champions bounced back to beat the Cobras with a performance that was far more convincing and showcased the depth in talent and ability.

If the likes of opener Murali Vijay and middle-order batsmen Suresh Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath could also fire, then, along with a balanced bowling attack, the Super Kings would be hard to stop.

Thus, the task is cut out for Daren Ganga’s men on the morrow while the Super Kings would be looking to ride the wave of partisan support and also their abundant proven talent to get among the front runners for the semi-finals spots.

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