Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first against Punjab Kings at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. Punjab Kings Shikhar Dhawan failed to make the right call on the backhand of the play as Dhoni won the draw at home as he immediately decided to beat first given it’s a game of day and the heat could prove to be a big factor in Chenai.
Fans again came out in large numbers to support Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk as it will be difficult for Punjab Kings to break into the stronghold of MS Dhoni.
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CSK decided to stay unchanged despite losing in their last game against Rajasthan Royals. They included Ambati Rayudu in the starting XI who came as an Impact player in pursuit in the last game.
Dhoni said the heat was a big factor in his decision to strike first, as he wants his bowlers to rest.
“We will strike first. Looks like a decent wicket. When playing a day game, the heat is a factor. Fast bowlers can rest. In daytime play, few players are too early. It is important to be smart. Do not expose yourself too much to the sun. The IPL is quite a long tournament. There will be games that will not suit you. You have to accept the learnings. It’s the same team,” Dhoni said during the draw.
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Meanwhile, PBKS skipper Dhawan admitted he was also looking to strike first on the dry wicket.
“We would have loved to strike first. It’s a day game and a dry wicket. There will be no dew. A new and a fresh start. We continue to learn from past games. Try to improve yourself. Keep the fighting spirit. Last game I tried something but clearly it didn’t work. The core is intact. Will go with a positive mindset. Harpreet is the only change,” Dhawan said.
Punjab Kings (playing XI): Atharva Taide, Shikhar Dhawan(c), Liam Livingstone, Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma(w), Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
Chennai Super Kings (playing XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (w/c), Matheesha Pathirana, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana
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