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CSK eye summit position vs Kings Xi Punjab

Chennai, April 24 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will look to go level on points with table-toppers Rajasthan Royals when they play against Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday.

Royals are currently at the top of the IPL perch with 10 points from six matches. CSK are close on their heels with eight points from five games.

CSK though have a healthier run rate (+.0948) than Royals (+0.459) and a comprehensive victory on Saturday may well make them the new league leaders.

Two-time champions CSK have looked a formidable outfit, boasting of a strong batting line-up.

Kiwi Brendon McCullum has led their batting charge and has been well supported by Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

South African Faf du Plessis, a top-order batsman has also taken a liking to his new role as a finisher of matches lower down the order.

But it’s not to think that they depend on their batting solely to win matches.

Veteran pacer Asish Nehra has been utilising his vast experience to provide the team early breakthroughs.

Mohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin also have the requisite ablity to complement Nehra with the ball.

Kings XI have endured a topsy-turvy campaign so far, winning just two of the five matches to be at the sixth spot.

Unlike CSK, their batting has failed to fire too often with Australian dasher Glenn Maxwell and Protean big-hitter David Miller disappointing mightily.

Their troubles are similar to Virender Sehwag who has failed to capitalise on decent starts.

Punjab will be waiting for the trio to wake up from their slumber.

The squads

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), Ashish Nehra, Baba Aparajith, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ishwar Pandey, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Mohit Sharma, Pawan Negi, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Samuel Badree, Suresh Raina, Ronit More, Michael Hussey, Rahul Sharma, Kyle Abbott, Ankush Bains, Irfan Pathan, Pratyush Singh, Andrew Tye and Eklavya Dwivedi.

Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (captain), Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Yogesh Golwalkar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Beuran Hendricks, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Nikhil Naik, Axar Patel, Thisara Perera, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra.

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