Chennai Super Kings M S Dhoni celebrates winning against Deccan Chargers during their IPL 5 match in Visakhapatnam. (PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik)
The race for a place in the top-four is in its final stage and I feel the Chennai Super Kings will play one of their most crucial games at Kolkata on Monday. Taking on KKR at the Eden Gardens will not be easy for MS Dhoni and company. I have a feeling that the Eden might well decide the fate of the two-time champions.
The Super Kings have had a dream run in this tournament since its inception. Runners-up in the first year, they reached the semifinals in the second edition and became champions in the third and fourth year.
If CSK fail to make the last-four grade this time, it will only be because of the collective failure of the team, and Dhoni alone should not be held responsible for this.
CSK’s biggest drawback in IPL-V is that they have not been invincible at home. Also, they have struggled with the form of their main batters and the bowling lost sting till Ben Hilfenhaus joined them.
It will be interesting to see how they gather themselves at this juncture. KKR have got the better of CSK in the away game but they will face a resolute Dhoni and company at the Eden.
Rohit to the rescue
KKR were done in by a gem of an innings by Rohit Sharma, one of the finest in this year’s IPL, on Saturday. This man has been the most talented youngster in Indian cricket in recent times but hasn’t been able to do justice to his potential. I would say that he has lacked consistency and he needs to focus on that.
Virat Kohli and Sharma are the future and if they do justice to their talent then Indian cricket will have a lot of its worries taken care of.
The innings, which Rohit played at the Eden on Saturday and the two consecutive innings, which Chris Gayle played for RCB in their last two outings, show that even in the shortest format of the game, cricketing shots are a must in your armoury.
A lot of people think that Gayle is a slogger. Well, I can tell you that you can’t score a triple-hundred in a Test match just by slogging! Gayle has matured as a cricketer. He adapts to situations and plays every ball on merit, and the power he packs in his shots is unbelievable.
It’s a good thing that the West Indies Cricket Board is sorting out matters with Gayle because he shouldn’t be left to play only T20 around the world. International cricket needs a player of his ability and character.
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The writer is Pune Warriors captain