Punjab Kings and Chennai Super Kings will play their second match of the season at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday. The Kings started with a tight win over Rajasthan Royals whereas CSK faltered against Delhi Capitals. Already there are questions regarding the Super Kings aged players and their one-dimensional bowling attack.
Chris Gayle Handles a different responsibility for Punjab Kings nowadays. Thanks to the solid opening combination of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, Kings can play him at number three. This may have limited his ability to utilize the powerplay but because of the solid foundation provided by the openers more often than not, he gets more freedom to bat. Also in his day, Gayle would not care for Powerplay as most of his shots fly to the stands. He started the season with a handy 40 in the first match and can complement either Rahul or Agarwal perfectly by taking more risks. This will ensure that the openers can play the anchor’s role without being bothered about the run rate. Now with proven performers like Deepak Hooda and Nicolas Pooran to follow him Gayle can bat even more freely and can really become an X-factor for the Kings.
For the last few seasons, the biggest criticism for Chennai Super Kings is regarding the presence of too many senior players in the squad. They always believed in keeping their core intact which used to be their biggest strength. However, with years, age has started affecting some of these players and impacted their performance. They did not go for many youngsters in the recent auction but their recent acquisition looks really good and should play for them for a long period. Sam Curran made his international debut at a young age and also was part of IPL since 2018. In the IPL 2020, his performance was one of the very few positives for CSK. The all-rounder contributed with both bat and ball and at times opened in both disciplines for CSK. Nothing much has changed in 2021 and captain MS Dhoni will hope for similar key performances from the English all-rounder throughout the season.