Two teams languishing in the bottom half of the table after inconsistent performances will do battle in Match 38 of IPL 2022 when Punjab Kings take on Chennai Super Kings this afternoon at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
We’ll be previewing this match and providing betting tips and the players to watch.
Punjab are third from bottom although a win would be enough to push them into the top-five reckoning. The challenge though is to quickly overturn a poor four-game run (W1, L3) that has evaporated the euphoria of two wins from their first three games. Shikhar Dhawan’s sudden loss of form hasn’t helped with the left-handed opener failing to go past nine in his last two matches after posting four scores of 33 or above in his first five.
Jonny Bairstow is taking too long to settle into his new team and new role which could force the Kings to look at reintegrating Bhanuka Rajapaksa. It’s the bowling unit that’s posing bigger challenges though, as Punjab have claimed only 4.71 wickets per game this season, the worst among all franchises ahead of today’s match.
Chennai’s troubles are well-documented with the defending champions winning just two games so far. CSK have their work cut out as their batting run rate of 8.42 is the worst this season among all franchises before Sunday’s match, while only three teams are conceding at a higher rate than their 8.83 runs per over.
The challenge for the ‘Yellow Army’ is to regain their Powerplay form. Chennai have already lost a league-high 14 wickets in the first six overs while the 11 wickets they have taken in the bowling Powerplays were bloated by three successive matches of three-wicket performances during that period. On a positive note, Maheesh Theekshana (7 wickets, ER 7.68) is finally looking like the mystery spinner that Chennai have craved.
Super Kings are known for not tinkering too much with their playing XIs but made a tough call to drop the retained Moeen Ali for the last game. Kings also dropped Odean Smith for Nathan Ellis in the previous match, and might even look to make big changes in their batting department.
This is a tough one to predict so I would suggest avoiding betting on the match winner and back the in-form players.
Rahul Chahar has posted Punjab Kings’ best bowling figures in five of their seven matches this season, yet only once did he manage to make it the best bowling figures of the match.
Punjab have hit more 6s than Chennai in five of the last six H2Hs with the other ending as a tie.
Punjab’s Jitesh Sharma has scored 23+ in four of his five IPL career knocks and has a SR of 164.86 this season.
Punjab Kings have scored 43+ in each of their seven Powerplays this season.
It could play into Punjab’s advantage that CSK have conceded 42 or more in five of their last seven Powerplays.
Chennai have an 11-6 win-loss record when losing the toss against Punjab.
Players to Watch
Punjab will pray that Liam Livingstone goes past two runs because, in three of his last five knocks, the swashbuckler scored 60+ while the other two were scores of two. Not quite the same household name as Livingstone yet, Shivam Dube has earned himself a reputation of striking hard this season (SR 161.48) and is the only batter to end as the highest match scorer for Chennai more than once in this season.