Kochi knows its Achilles' heel is its bowling and therefore to compensate for that drawback, it has had to up the quality of its batting display. When it comes off, it looks delightful to watch as in the match against Mumbai, where openers Brendon McCullum and Mahela Jayawardene tore into hitherto insurmountable Mumbai attack. But Kochi has also shown that it is prone to a top-order collapse as in the match against Pune where it slumped to 40/4. The middle order will have to brace itself for another possible onslaught as the Chennai bowling looks formidable.
Albie Morkel, Tim Southee, R Ashwin and Surav Randiv have been among the wickets and could pose quite some problems for the Tuskers. But as the match against the Kings XI Punjab showed, they are far from invincible and can launch an attack fraught with gaping vulnerabilities. They must still be smarting from the fact that they could not defend such an imposing total of 188 against the Kings.
Meanwhile, the Kochi bowling has seriously been lacking bite. The pace trio of R P Singh, Vinay Kumar and Thisara Perera need a fillup as they are struggling for impact. Wickets have been a rarity for this lot and if they can put on a shrewdly scrambled sucession of lengths while keep a constant off-stump line, they could make life difficult for CSK...