Two time champions Chennai Super Kings and renewed Kings XI Punjab start their campaign at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Both teams have a heavy batting line-up and high-scorer is on cards.
Suresh Rainais the only player apart from Skipper MS Dhoni who has been with CSK since the inaugural edition way back in 2008. Raina with 2802 runs leads the list of most runs in IPL. He is the prominent player in the squad and has won many matches with his belligerent batting for his team.
Glenn Maxwell was ‘’million dollar baby’’ last year when he was picked by Mumbai Indians but the flamboyant Aussie batsman did not feature regularly in playing XI. His ability to clear the boundaries slickly makes him custom-fit for T20 and after flashes of his mortal batting in World T20, 2014 he will be a vital cogin KXIP batting now.
Weak Point: CSK might be loaded with frontline spinners but the team misses depth in pace department. Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma are likely to carry the baton, but they both are inexperienced. Ashish Nehra can edge out Pandey but a feeble pace attack may haunt CSK. It seems both teams are contrasting in bowling department. KXIP have good fast bowlers with Mitchell Johnson spearing the attack but Murali Kartik and Shivam Sharma as vanguard spinners gives an indication of perhaps a weakest slow bowling option in IPL. Kartik lately has not been in the action and needs to find his spots quickly before he is taken for cleaners.
Desi Touch: Both CSK and KXIP have profound Indian players in their ranks.
Baba Aparajith is a fledgling batsman who has done well in U-19 cricket and playing under one of India’s best captain will surely help him excel, while in opposite camp all eyes will be on
Virender Sehwag’s batting Typical Sehwag inning at the top is what is needed to see KXIP off to a winning start.
CSK: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Matt Henry, John Hastings, FAF du Plessis, Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree, Ben Hilfenhaus.
KXIP: George Bailey(c),Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manan Vohra, Murali Kartik, Parvinder Awana, L Balaji, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Anureet Singh, Shivam Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Akhshar Patel, Karanveer Singh, Gurkeerat Mann, Wriddhiman Saha, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, David Miller, Thisara Perera, Beuran Hendricks.