The Chennai Super Kings have not only strung together three straight wins, they will also have an almost full squad of players to choose from when they take on the Deccan Chargers in Nagpur on Saturday.
Albie Morkel has recovered from the back strain that made him miss the Super Kings’ previous match, against the Mumbai Indians, here on Tuesday. The South African allrounder bowled and batted during a one-and-a-half-hour practice session at Chepauk on Thursday evening.
The team flies out to Nagpur on Friday. Morkel’s compatriot Justin Kemp also bowled and batted. Kemp strained his back after bowling one delivery against the Kings XI Punjab last month and has not played since, but on Thursday evening he was launching the net bowlers into the stands.
“Morkel and Kemp are fit and available for our next match,” said the Super Kings manager Russell Radhakrishnan. It means they will have all 10 foreign players available for the first time in IPL III.
But, among the Indians, medium-pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji is still not fit. “He has a groin injury and will be available for the match on the 13th,” Radhakrishnan said. The Super Kings take on the Knight Riders at home on April 13.
Balaji played the first six matches, but not since the Super Kings took on the Mumbai Indians at Brabourne on March 25. In his absence, the Super Kings have struggled to find an Indian medium-pacer who can bowl his overs cheaply and pick up a wicket or two.
Sudeep Tyagi, though, did well against the Mumbai Indian on Tuesday, returning figures of one for 20 off three overs. He is the frontrunner followed by Joginder Sharma. Both bowled for a long time at the nets. Manpreet Gony bowled only a few deliveries.