Dhoni will look to get his bowling combination right

Finding it difficult to get his bowling unit to deliver, M.S. Dhoni and teammates run into Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday night.

The visitors, training at the MCA Stadium to get a feel of the conditions, have a squad filled with batting heavyweights ready and willing to attack.

Rising Pune Supergiants, still reeling from the assault by A.B. de Villiers and Virat Kohli two nights ago in front of the home fans, faces stroke-makers, who may not be as destructive as the RCB duo but capable of taking on any attack. Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell have been in fine form.

Kevin Pietersen’s calf injury, described by skipper Dhoni as a blessing in disguise, may create a slot for a bowling an all-rounder.

The primary reason for Chennai Super Kings’ success story was its five bowlers completing their four-over quota. Rajat Bhatia has been effective in the slog overs by slowing down the pace and forcing the batsmen to take the initiative. Albie Morkel, who executes team plans to perfection, is familiar to the captain from the CSK days.

Murugan Ashwin still carries value, as RCB proved with slow bowlers Iqbal Abdulla and Tabraiz Shamsi against RPS. The track will be ideal for canny operator like KKR’s Piyush Chawla to play a decisive role.

M. Ashwin, asked about the nature of the wicket, said: “From what we saw of the game against RCB, the wicket is slightly on the slower side.”

Utility player
Chawla is a utility player. He can put pressure on the opponents with his variety and has the uncanny knack of taking wickets. He hits the ball long and hard.

The successful campaign so far, Chawla feels, is due to getting the team combination right. “We were able to keep teams below 150. Our bowling and batting combination is working.”

Manish has chickenpox
Chawla revealed that Manish Pandey was suffering from chickenpox and will be missed. Credited with the first century in IPL, he was called up as a replacement for an injured Yuvraj Singh in T20 World Cup for the semifinal against West Indies.

He displayed fluency with the bat against Mumbai Indians and is known for exceptional fielding.