Mohali opts to bat against Chennai

Published: Saturday, May 31, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Mumbai: Mohali Kings XI Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh won the toss and decided to bat against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL semis' at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.

Kings XI outfit have drafted in the right-arm medium pacer Wilkin Mota in place of Luke Pomersbach. Chennai outfit have retained the squad fielded in their previous tie with injured Fleming missing out.

Mohali though have lost both the league ties against Chennai but Yuvi boys have peaked at right time and with a terrific batting line-up and penetraative bowling attack start as firm favourites to face Rajasthan Royals in the title clash.

The strength of Punjab lies in the fantastic array of batsmen they have in the shape of in-form Marsh and his fellow Aussies James Hopes and Luke Pomersbach.

In Lankans, with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene the team possesses two of the finest talents in the world.

Then there is Yuvraj who has regained his touch. Strong batting is backed up by an efficient bowling manned by S Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, V R V Singh and Piyush Chawla, giving the team a truly formidable look.

Chennai Super Kings, who finished third in the points table behind Rajasthan and Punjab do have the wherewithal to compete

against their rivals, but manto-man they fall a bit short. They certainly will feel the absence of the seasoned Stephen Fleming at the top of the order. In his absence Parthiv Patel is expected to open the innings with S Vidyut.

It's in the top of the order where Chennai look weak as compared to Punjab, while the middle order has Suresh Raina, Badri, Dhoni and exciting South African all rounder Albie Morkel - a good line-up but clearly weaker than their rivals'.

Makhaya Ntini seems to have rediscovered some of his rhythm but Dhoni would be wary of his proclivity to go back to bowling loose balls.

Morkel, Manpreet Gony, the fit-again Laxmipathy Balaji and spin ace Muralitharan give the Chennai attack a healthy look and would need to be at their best to put shackles on the strong Punjab batting order.


Mohali Kings XI: Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Kumara Sangakkara (wk), Yuvraj Singh (capt),Mahela Jayawardene, Irfan Pathan, Wilkin Mota, Pragyan Chawla, Ramesh Powar, VRV Singh and S Sreesanth

Chennai Super Kings: Parthiv Patel, Shivramakrishnan Vidyut, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chamara Kapugedera, S Badrinath, Albie Morkel, Manpreet Gony, Laxmipathi Balaji, Muralitharan and Makhaya Ntini.


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