After a winning start to their 2021 Indian T20 League season, the competition now gets tougher for Team Punjab as they face Team Chennai at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, April 16.
The KL Rahul-led team displayed why they are considered as one of the best batting teams in the league, registering 221/6 against Rajasthan in their opening game of the season. While their batting brilliance was on the show, their bowlers once again failed to live up to the potential.
As far as Chennai are concerned, they were given a harsh reality check by Team Delhi in their opening game, losing the fixture by seven wickets. Like Rajasthan, Chennai too had troubles dealing with the opposition’s batsmen. Regardless of their recent struggles though, Chennai have always managed to get the better of Punjab.
In a total of 23 meetings between the two teams, Chennai have won 14 while Punjab have won just nine. Punjab have, in fact, have won just two matches against Chennai since 2015.
|Punjab vs Chennai head-to-head|
It is at Mumbai though where things get tricky for MS Dhoni’s men. The three-time Indian T20 League champions have played 15 matches in Mumbai and have won just seven. Punjab, on the other hand, have won six of their 12 matches at the venue.
One can rightly expect it to be a high-scoring affair especially given the form the batsmen are in at the moment. Speaking of batsmen, Chennai need to be attentive towards Chris Gayle and KL Rahul who have scored 385 and 292 runs against them respectively. The two, combined, have scored three half-centuries against Chennai.
|Top batsmen for Punjab vs Chennai|
|Player||Matches||Runs||High score||Average||Strike Rate||100s||50s|
For Chennai, the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni have accumulated the most runs against Punjab. While the southpaw has scored 814 runs at 42.84, which includes one century and four half-centuries, Dhoni has scored 595 runs against them at an average of 59.5.
As far as bowlers are concerned, only Mohammed Shami of Punjab boasts of a decent record against Chennai. The pacer has picked three wickets in seven matches against them but that has come at an economy of just under 10. Mumbai, however, have a couple of bowlers who love bowling against Punjab.
|Top bowlers for Chennai vs Punjab|
All-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja have 22 and 13 wickets respectively against Punjab.
Despite their better boundary average (12.2 fours and 8 sixes in last five games) than Chennai (12.8 fours and 6 sixes in last five games), Punjab are stacked at 43% of winning odds compared to Chennai’s 58%.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain