Things are falling in place for the Chennai Super Kings. Their skipper MS Dhoni is out injured but the depth of the side was there to see when they played Delhi Daredevils on Friday.
Matthew Hayden has been fantastic, Suresh Raina looks comfortable with captaincy, and even the bowlers – Albie Morkel, L. Balaji and Muttiah Muralitharan – are coming into their own.
Dhoni’s elbow injury kept him out of the Delhi match and he has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game. According to the CSK team management there will not be any assessment of Dhoni’s injury on Sunday and the physio Tom Simsek has advised the skipper to report for the Mumbai match on Thursday.
“He is recovering slowly, but won’t be available for tomorrow’s match. He will also miss the RCB game on Tuesday and will only join us in Mumbai for the Mumbai Indians game,” CSK chief coach Stephen Fleming said.
Though the fans will be disappointed that Dhoni won’t be there, it’s Matthew Hayden with his Mongoose bat that will draw them towards the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday evening.
He is supreme at the top of the order and the coach has full confidence in the Aussie that he will give them the start on Sunday as well. “Mongoose or no Mongoose, he is a fantastic batsman. He is the pillar of strength for our team and we are looking forward to another super effort,” coach Fleming said.
The slow start also seems a thing of the past for the CSK outfit. “We have really picked up well after the initial jolt. The way we’ve played in the last two games, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be playing the semifinals,” Fleming oozed confidence.
On the other hand, things are going from bad to worse for Kings XI with none of their top guns coming good. Yuvraj Singh doesn’t seem to have recovered from his injury, Kumar Sangakkara too has struggled, and the pace attack has looked weak in the absence of Brett Lee.
The only bright spots have been Ravi Bopara and Irfan Pathan and the Kings XI coach Tom Moody would desperately like this duo to fire so that the smiles are back on Preity Zinta’s face.