Chennai Super Kings and wine have one thing in common. Both get better with the passage of time. After having suffered a three-match losing streak just before the play-offs, CSK have upped the tempo at the right time. With a good performance against Mumbai Indians, CSK are looking good to enter their fifth consecutive final. Kings XI Punjab, for long the dominating team in the league stages, are suddenly suffering a dip in momentum. Their loss to Kolkata Knight Riders would have dented their confidence but they will be aware that they can bounce back against a team that they have defeated twice earlier.
Venue: Wankhede stadium, Mumbai
Date: May 30
Time: 20:00 IST
Weather: Mostly clear conditions
Kings XI Punjab After a wonderful start in the tournament, Glenn Maxwell has experienced a slight dip in his form. KXIP will be hoping that he lives up to his nickname of the ‘Big Show’ and delivers on the big stage.
The bowling may need a bit of tweaking with Parwinder Awana proving to be ineffective. Sandeep Sharma might come in and Karanveer Singh could be replaced by L Balaji. 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 David Miller, 6 George Bailey (c), 7 Rishi Dhawan, 8 Akshar Patel, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Karanveer Singh/L Balaji, 11 Parwinder Awana/Sandeep Sharma
Watch out for Virender Sehwag has had some attractive starts and just one fifty to his credit in this IPL. However, on the big stage, Sehwag will go all out to ensure that he chips in with a big score. His attacking style of play can take the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye and CSK will be aware of this threat.
Chennai Super Kings All departments are ticking and this unit seems settled. In an important game, they may not make any changes. 1. Dwayne Smith, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Brendon McCullum, 5 David Hussey, 6 MS Dhoni (C and wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishwar Pandey, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Ashish Nehra
Watch out for:
Ever since his return to the side in the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Ashish Nehra has boosted CSK’s bowling department. The death bowling, which had been a cause for concern earlier, has finally improved thanks to Nehra’s intelligent bowling.
Once considered the best death bowler for India, Nehra has been clever with his length and has bowled the yorkers accurately. He might prove to be expensive at times but Nehra is still a vital member in the CSK bowling line-up.
Key match-ups: Dwayne Smith v Glenn Maxwell Both batsmen follow this mode of operation: Attack or perish. Maxwell is currently in the midst of a lean patch but he can turn it around against CSK.
He has scored 95 and 90 against them and on both occasions, it was a tour-de-force performance. He will look for a hat-trick of big scores against them. Smith, on the other hand, has been in consistent form and he will look to continue the good work.
Suresh Raina v Mitchell Johnson Raina is the master of contributing in the play-off stages. Following his fifty in the eliminator against MI, Raina is looking in ominous form ahead of this clash. However, it is a well known fact that Raina struggles against the short ball.
He claims that he has worked out the problem but Johnson’s pace could be a challenge. In the series against Australia in October 2013, Johnson snapped up Raina twice with the short ball. Raina will be desperate to blunt KXIP’s main weapon.