Another big test for Jadeja's captaincy, this time from a new entrant with familiar rivals. Chennai Super Kings is all set to lock horns with debutant Lucknow Super Giants led by KL Rahul. As both teams strive for the first victory in the current IPL season, the battle will be intense as all eyes are on Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium. The match will commence at 7.30 pm on Thursday - March 31.
Both the teams have played one match each and are yet to open its account. While CSK has lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match, Lucknow has conceded the defeat to another debutant Gujarat Titans. Besides a good clash, CSK's star player MS Dhoni is nearing a huge history as he is just 15 runs short of joining the elite club of batsmen who have crossed 7,000 runs in the T20 format. So far, the club has Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa, and Shikhar Dhawan scoring over 7,000 runs.
Dhoni's tally currently stands at 6,985 runs. In the last match against Kolkata, Dhoni's much needed 50 drove the team to touch the score of 130 and though it was paltry on board, his play looked promising while the team needs to strengthen the top-order performance, which also applies to the Lucknow Super Giants. In their first match, both the teams batted first and scored 160, which eventually didn't give hand for victory.
While Lucknow is going to miss all-rounder Jason Holder again, CSK will be welcoming Moeen Ali for the first time in the tournament and he will be replacing Mitchell Santner. It has been reported that there would be no major change in both the teams as the IPL season is gradually picking up its classy and fierce battles. Toss would be a big player at Brabourne today as, during the last game, Mumbai Indians had put 177 on board which was successfully chased by Delhi.
We can expect that whoever wins the toss would opt for a chase and Moeen Ali's return would give a big boost to CSK as he can restrict three dangerous left-hand batters in Lucknow - De Kock, Krunal Pandya, and Lewis. Ravindra Jadeja would add more power to the bowling line-up of CSK while his strategy will go for a test in building a consistent batting line-up to support the team's battle.
As per the probability, around 54% have voted their predicted that CSK will defeat Lucknow. Both teams would clash to have a breakthrough and after the defeat against Gujarat Giants, Lucknow's captain KL Rahul said, "We couldn't have started the campaign in any better way." After the loss to Kolkata, CSK's coach Stephen Fleming said, "What you found today was a team that started the tournament a little bit nervous. We didn't access the conditions well, it can be a bit difficult here and we were just behind the eight-ball really."
"But that happened last year as well and we got a good catalyst for us to move ahead. The conditions were quite tough, it was very wet in the second half. Assessing conditions in the first part of the tournament is going to be a key aspect. Probably winning the toss as well so you get your decision making right", he added.