King`s XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings - Indian Premier League Cricket Preview

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Published: 30/05/2014

The 2014 Indian Premier League is drawing to a close, and the winners of the group stage need to pull off a win against Chennai here to qualify for what would be a deserved final. However, the King’s XI performed above expectations during the group stages, and having lost their first play-off match in the knockout stages, there will be question marks over them ahead of this all important fixture.

The King’s XI were comfortably beaten by Kolkata in their previous play-off match, and it was really their batting that let them down on that occasion. Having held Kolkata to a respectable but by no means stellar 163, the King’s XI were never really in the hunt to chase that down, and ended up 28 runs short of their target. Having said that, Kolkata boast arguably the best bowling attack in the competition, so perhaps the modest total posted by the King’s XI is more of a reflection of this than their incompetence.

So if the King’s XI want to improve on that reverse, the first thing they need to do in this semi-final is improve their batting. Chennai are one of the most powerful batting teams in the tournament, and boast two of this year’s five top scorers. One thing can be said with some confidence if we see a repeat of the sort of total that the King’s XI posted in their previous play-off match then they will be eliminated and having won the group stage of the competition will count for nothing.

If the King’s XI are to win this game, then one feels that they must keep Chennai’s two key men quiet. Suresh Raina and Dwayne Smith have been two standout performers during this year’s competition. The West Indian has been one of the surprise packages of the tournament, given his relatively modest record at the highest level. But Smith has batted extremely well and aggressively, and is current second only to Robin Uthappa in the run rankings for IPL 2014. King’s XI must knock him over if they are to triumph here.

Additionally, Chennai also has two of the tournament’s outstanding bowlers in their line-up. Indeed, the leading wicket taker in the whole of IPL 2014 will be part of the Chennai team for this game. Mohit Sharma has yet to play test cricket for India, and only has a handful of ODIs and T20 internationals to his name, but the national side will surely be looking at him closely after his outstanding tournament. Sharma has picked up 22 wickets so far in the IPL, and has been extremely ably supported by Ravindra Jadeja who has chipped in with a more than useful 19.

King’s XI will need their gun batsman Glenn Maxwell to be at his absolute best in this game. Maxwell is the sort of player who can take a game away from an opponent, and a good knock from him could be decisive. But I must say that Chennai look to have the more balanced side, and I expect them to come out on top.

Tip: Chennai Super Kings to win (8/11 with BetVictor)

Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (30/05/2014) but are subject to change.

30/05/2014     © Frixo 2017

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