Mohali: Coming off a thumping away win over Pune Warriors, Kings XI Punjab will face a stern test when they take on a wounded Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League match on Wednesday.
Having lost to Mumbai Indians in their opening game, the Super Kings would look to make amends quickly ahead of their match on Wednesday, while a relatively inexperienced Kings XI side would go in as underdogs in this contest despite a resounding eight-wicket win over lacklustre Pune Warriors.
The Gilchrist-led side would aim for a similar show in the second match of the double header at the PCA stadium.
On the bowling front, the hosts would be pleased with a disciplined performance from the seamers in the last match.
Pacer Praveen Kumar, who recently returned from an injury lay off followed by a ban, looked in good rhythm as he picked up two key wickets including that of dangerous Ross Taylor.
The Punjab team has a settled bowling combination led by Australian pacer Ryan Harris. Tidy performances from Parwinder Awana and leggie Piyush Chawla would also comfort the Preity Zinta co-owned side.
Punjab would be relying on former Pakistani all-rounder and T20-journeyman, Azhar Mahmood, to come good with both bat and bowl while expecting seasoned T20 campaigner David Hussey to provide late flourish to the side.
The Kings XI batsmen, in their small run chase, looked imposing. Young Mandeep Singh would like to build upon his reputation of an enforcer and a case for selection in the national side.
On his IPL debut, Manan Vohra scored blazing 43 off just 28 deliveries and looked at ease playing at this level.
To pass the star-studded CSK test, the Darren Lehmann-coached side would be aware that they will have to labour hard at home. Though, still early days in the cash-rich league, the side would know the importance of fending off giants when they are still looking to settle down.
CSK, on the other hand, would be looking to put behind the disappointment of their nine-run loss.
Even though the match went down to the last over courtesy heroics from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26-ball 51), CSK coach, Stephen Fleming, had expressed his displeasure over poor shot selection from some of his batsmen against MI.
Dhoni's fine form is surely an ominous sign for the opponents. And despite the loss, CSK look a far more formidable side and would certainly start as favourites.
The two-time IPL champions, however, would be wary of the fact that KXIP had trampled them on both occasions in the last season.
CSK would be hoping for a blazing start from Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay while expecting Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina to come good in the middle order.
The team management would also want useful contributions from S Badrinath and Ravindra Jadeja lower down the order.
The Super Kings would be relieved after Albie Morkel, who twisted his ankle while bowling in the finals of the domestic Twenty 20 competition in South Africa, was cleared after precautionary scans. The 31-year-old has arrived in India yesterday. However, he is unlikely to take the field tomorrow.
Australian pacer Ben Laughlin and Ankit Rajpoot had a reasonable outing in the first match of their IPL career, with both bagging a wicket each.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (Capt.), Azhar Mahmood, Luke Pomersbach, David Hussey, David Miller, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Manpreet Gony, Nitin Saini, Parvinder Awana, Paul Valthaty, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Rajagopal Sathish, Ryan Harris, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Harmeet Singh Bansal, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Mandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Capt.), Srikkanth Anirudha Baba Aparajith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Akila Dananjaya, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, R Karthikeyan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ben Laughlin, Ronit More, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Suresh Raina, Ankit Rajpoot, Wriddhiman Saha, Vijay Shankar, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay.