Stage is set in Ranchi for CSK to take on Titans. Both teams have cruised their way into CLT20 2013 after having dominated their respective T20 tournaments. While CSK’s management is about to contest the alleged guilt of its once-a-mentor, Meiyyappan, its players have had their share of troubles with the wet conditions at Ranchi hampering their tune up. Champions of the 2010 edition would certainly be raring to open their account in a positive way. Titans have an inspiring combination of Rob Walter and Henry Davids, playing the roles of Coach and Captain respectively.
While some may claim that CSK is short of its advantage that Chennai offers, I should remind them that this is Ranchi, home town of MS Dhoni. CSK has its batting hopes highly hinged on their opener Michael Hussey, the leading run scorer in IPL 2013. Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Badrinath, Albie Morkel form an enviable middle order for any T20 side. Any bowling attack with Sir Ravindra Jadeja, the numero uno bowler in ODI cricket is benefited. Mohit Sharma’s swing bowling, Holder’s West Indian pace, Bravo’s variety and Ashwin’s carom – CSK has the bowling to hold any side down. It remains to be seen if it actually can. With most successful T20 captain in MS Dhoni, who has 75 victories to his name in T20 cricket, and most capped T20 player in Albie Morkel, who carries an experience of 239 T20 matches, CSK is surely a team to reckon with!
TITANS have been the runners-up in the RAM-SLAM T20 challenge in South Africa. They have been consistent in their performances and a SF result in the CLT20 2012 edition, where they had to eventually bow down to Sydney Sixers, only vindicates this assessment. Clearly, Abraham Benjamin DeVilliers is the player to look out for in the TITANS’ side. However, for AB to deliver, it is important that Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids lay a good platform. Bowling department in the TITANS’ half is arguably the speediest attack in the tournament. Well, you’d expect that from a South African team. Talking of the conditions, these pace duo might be just itching to go out on this track for its has bounce and seam movement. So, TITANS are not deprived of home advantage either!
Critical Factor: Toss, with the dew coming in later in the night. Team winning toss should undoubtedly bowl first.
Contest to watch out for: Proteas Vs. Proteas. CSK deploys Albie Morkel against the TITANS. So, a possible contest between the compatriots and brothers would be a treat to watch.