Chennai Super Kings (CSK) got its first win in the last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and will look to build on that when it takes on Gujarat Titans at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Sunday.
Despite its win against RCB, CSK is likely to be the underdog in the contest against the Titans, which had its best performance of the tournament in its last match against Rajasthan Royals with a comprehensive 37-run win.
The defending champions still don’t have all bases covered especially on the bowling front with the pacers unable to provide breakthroughs. An option for the team could be to try out young pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar instead of Mukesh Choudhary who has struggled so far. The India under-19 star bowls with good pace and could add some firepower to its pace attack.
A huge positive for CSK though was the performance of spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who delivered with a four-wicket haul.
The team will also hope opener Ruturaj Gaikwad finds form in front of his home crowd in Pune.
The Titans, on the other hand, have everything going for them with Hardik Pandya leading from the front with both bat and ball. The team has one of the best bowling attacks in the competition.
The guile of Mohammed Shami, the pace of Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan’s wizardry will pose a formidable challenge to the CSK’s batters.
The only area of concern is the form of top-order batters Matthew Wade and Vijay Shankar. In Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz, it has a readymade opening batter who can don the gloves as well and will be a punt worth taking.