Chennai Super Kings
Let’s be honest. CSK’s decision to hand over the leadership baton to Jadeja backfired big time. That said, they now have the best brains in the business calling their shots again. Question is … is there enough time left for them to make a playoff run?
As things stand, CSK are second-last on the points table, with six points to their name. In their remaining five games of the round-robin stage, they will have to erase the four-point gap that exists between themselves and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who occupy the fourth and final playoff spot.
While much was made of Dhoni’s return as captain, the truth is that CSK owed their win over Hyderabad to their openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (99) and Devon Conway (85*). Their 182-run stand for the opening wicket had pretty much killed the game there and then. Some of their bowlers again struggled but it’s a point that can be sidestepped in the larger scheme of things. For now, the point remains that the CSK of old are back.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore sit just outside the playoff spots but they are pretty much in the hunt as they trail Hyderabad only on net run rate, although they have played a game more.
However, a big cause of concern for them is their alarming loss of form of late as they have lost all of their last three matches.
After being embarrassed by Hyderabad when they were bowled out for a mere 68 on April 23, they have lost two more and none of their defeats can be sugarcoated by saying they were very close.
Granted that in the last game they had Gujarat Titans a little wobbled at 95-4 in pursuit of 171 but then David Miller and Rahul Tewatia expertly ruined their hopes of snapping their slide.
One minor silver lining is that Virat Kohli got a half century in that game but then it took him 53 balls to score 58 runs so it’s hardly a thing to celebrate.