Chennai Super Kings host Punjab Kings at Chepauk in the day game of IPL 2023 on Sunday. It will be the 999th game of the T20 league and the MS Dhoni-led side will be aiming to return to winning ways after facing a big defeat in Jaipur.
Punjab Kings also suffered a big defeat against Lucknow Super Giants in a high-scoring game at home in their previous encounter on captain Shikhar Dhawan's return.CSK's biggest strength this season is the way their batters are firing and the way skipper MS Dhoni is leading them by optimising his resources to perfection.
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar praised Dhoni for the way he's managing his teammates, as well as himself because the knee injury seems to be pestering him constantly.Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Sanjay Manjrekar said, "MS Dhoni is a clever cricketer. He knows his limitations. We are seeing a new avatar of him this season. Earlier he used to manage the team, this year, he's also managing himself."
Another big positive for CSK is the way all-rounder Shivam Dube is batting. The tall left-handed batter has been hitting sixes for fun in this IPL, and former India cricketer Ravi Shastri seems to be in awe of the Mumbaikar.
Shastri said, "Shivam Dube has range and power. He's tall and he can easily hit sixes just by standing in his place, which makes him a dangerous batter. He's been given the license from the skipper to just go out there and explode."
Ajinkya Rahane's revamped version is another big boost for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2023. The senior India cricketer has got the freedom at CSK to express himself which has done wonders for him, as well as for the franchise.
Former Australia cricketer Aaron Finch thinks the faith coach Stephen Fleming and skipper Dhoni showed in Rahane is paying dividends. Aaron Finch said, "Ajinkya Rahane got the freedom at CSK. After a poor run last year, he might have thought his IPL career was done. But then he got another opportunity after CSK picked him up.
He got that unexpected opportunity with MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming tapping on his shoulders and saying 'you are playing' go and have some fun, express yourself."