The cricketing action will continue in IPL 2022 edition on Monday evening (April 25). The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be taking on Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the second reverse fixture of the season, at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Both sides are in desperate need to find some momentum and consistency as their playoffs hopes are hanging by a thread. Talking about the Punjab franchise, they are slowly getting into a familiar territory — like in the past few seasons — of getting into a do-or-die situation. So far, they have only three wins from seven encounters and are languishing at the eighth position, just a spot above Ravindra Jadeja-led CSK.
On the other hand, the defending champions Chennai has picked up some momentum but they still need a log of catching up to do in order to progress to the playoffs. The four-time winners have only two victories from seven games and also need to work on their NRR. While CSK bowlers are now beginning to complement the ever-reliant Dwayne Bravo, they would need a lot more to stop a rampant Punjab batting line-up, who usually go all-out in the powerplay overs (going at over 9 RPO).
Meanwhile, the likes of Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad also need to find some form for Chennai’s benefit. From Punjab’s perspective, they need a lot more from their opening duo Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan whereas Jonny Bairstow desperately needs to find form or make way for Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Liam Livingstone — Man-of-the-Match in PBKS’ big win over CSK earlier in the season — will continue to spearhead the middle and lower-order, however, he needs more support from the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, etc. Their bowling has been led by Rahul Chahar and an economical Arshdeep Singh but Kagiso Rabada still hasn’t come good.
Match prediction for Chennai vs Punjab: The Wankhede pitches are now back to producing some big scores. However, the dew effect has gone down considerably and, hence, batting first won’t be ruled out altogether. The surface used for the Lucknow-Mumbai encounter was a two-paced one. It will be interesting to see if it remains the same for Monday’s clash. With Punjab coming into this encounter on the back of a loss, a slightly-improved Chennai should march ahead of an inconsistent PBKS line-up to pick up their third win of the season. CSK also have a better head-to-head record, leading Punjab 15-11.