CLT20: Will Trinidad beat Chennai and book semis berth?
With an eye on a semi-final berth, a resurgent Trinidad and Tobago face an uphill task of taming a rampaging Chennai Super Kings when they meet in a Champions League Twenty20 match in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Trinidad team has been fortunate so far. They were blessed by a Duckworth-Lewis win over Titans on Monday which put their campaign back on track after they were blown away by Thisara Perera of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the earlier match.
They got the better of the South African side by six runs and shrugged off the loss against the Sunrisers after starting in convincing fashion against Brisbane Heat.
If Trinidad fail to tame the Chennai giants, given the run-rate scenario in Group B, they will need to curtail the margin of defeat as they are placed second, ahead of the Titans in the table.
Both T&T and Titans have eight points each from two wins, but the former have a better run-rate (+0.407) as compared to Titans (+0.228).
Image: Navin Stewart of Trinidad&Tobago celebrates a wicket
Narine the bright spot for Trinidad
But given the form the Chennai-based team is in, T&T skipper Denesh Ramdin will be urging his boys to go all out and accomplish what would be an arduous task.
T&T have impressed with the bat, with decent contributions coming from opener Evin Lewis and experienced international Darren Bravo.
The team will hope Nicolas Pooran and Lendl Simmons, who impressed with the ball in the last match, step up again and take the side home.
On the bowling front, they heavily rely on pacer Ravi Rampaul and spinner Sunil Narine to deliver the goods and the duo have done a decent job so far to keep them in the hunt for a semi-final spot.
Narine leads the highest wicket-takers tally with eight in the competition.
Pacer Rayad Emrit has looked sporadic and will be aiming for consistency while bowling to the marauding CSK batting line-up.
Image: Sunil Narine
Hussey in perfect form for CSK
With short boundaries at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium, coupled with a flat deck, a high-scoring contest is expected.
The Super Kings, on the other hand, will be keen to maintain their unbeaten run in the competition.
Although CSK have looked compact in all three departments they might be tempted to try out new combinations ahead of the knock-out stage. Chris Morris, who hasn't got a game yet, may be tested in place of West Indies pacer Jason Holder.
Hussey is a wall at the top of the order, while Raina their run-machine, especially in the middle and later part of the innings.
Despite a long lay-off from international duties, Dhoni too looked in ominous touch at his home ground in Ranchi.
In Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel, CSK have the most dangerous power-hitters to give their innings an impetus whenever required.
Image: Michael Hussey
Mohit Sharma has had a decent run
As CSK's top order has done the bulk of scoring, the likes of Morkel and Ravindra Jadeja haven't yet received many opportunities with the bat.
Just like their batting, they also have a resourceful bowling attack to intimidate any opposition.
Pacer Mohit Sharma and offie R Ashwin have had decent run so far.
With three wins in three games, they will finish on top of Group B irrespective of the outcome of the match. The way CSK is going at the moment, they look on course to repeat their successful 2010 campaign in South Africa.
Chennai Super Kings: Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C & Wk), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay.
Trinidad & Tobago: Denesh Ramdin (C & Wk), Adrian Barath, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit, Sherwin Ganga, Jason Mohammad, Yannick Ottley, Ravi Rampaul, Navin Stewart, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Evin Levis, Nicolas Pooran.
Image: Mohit Sharma