After tasting their second win of IPL 5 in the last match, Deccan Chargers will be confident when they clash with an inconsistent Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday. The game assumes greater importance for both the teams as they find themselves in a must-win situation. The Hyderabad-based franchise is at the bottom on the leaderboard with five points from nine games as opposed to Chennai who are at fifth with nine points after 10 outings.
In their last match against Pune Warriors India in Cuttack, Deccan played to their potential to register the win, which was their second over Pune this season. And when they travel to Chennai's backyard on Friday, they will take with them the confidence to upset another big gun.
After dropping himself for one match, skipper Kumar Sangakkara came back with a brilliant 82 off 52 balls against Pune. Apart from Sangakkara, Deccan would very much like Cameron White, who also hit 74 off 45, to continue his good form on the slow and low Chepauk track. And with bowling spearhead Dale Steyn in top shape and key players slowly coming out of their slump, Deccan are looking like a changed side.
CSK, the two-time IPL champions, have looked off-colour in this edition. Though they have been bolstered by the return of Australian batsman Michael Hussey, they are still struggling to find a winning combination. And despite his team not getting past the finishing line on most occasions, CSK captain MS Dhoni continues to refrain himself from making too many changes.
Playing at home has always been Chennai's strength in the past four seasons, and in spite of losing three of their six home games this season, they still remain an intimidating proposition in home conditions.
Things are not unfolding in Chennai's favour this year. Among the batsmen, opener Faf du Plessis has been in top form but the same cannot be said of others, including Suresh Raina and Dhoni, who have been out of sorts. The bowling too has been a bit of a let-down for CSK with their key strike bowler Doug Bollinger falling prey to the four-foreigner cap.
All in all, there is a lot at stake for both the teams in this clash, with Chennai having no scope to drop down the points table and Deccan having everything to play for to move up.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 2 S Badrinath, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Albie Morkel , 8 Ravichandran Ashwin, 9 Ravindra Jadeja, 10 Shadab Jakati, 11 Yo Mahesh
Deccan Chargers: 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (c), 4 Cameron White, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Ishank Jaggi, 7 Ankit Sharma, 8 Dale Steyn, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Ashish Reddy, 11 Manpreet Gony