The Chennai Super Kings are set to welcome Albie Morkel back to their starting XI for Sunday’s Indian Premier League clash against the Deccan Chargers.
Injury sidelined the South African all-rounder from Wednesday’s comfortable win over the Pune Warriors, but he will return for the showdown in Hyderabad at the weekend, with Tim Southee likely to make way.
New Zealand fast bowler Southee was rather predictable in his line and length against Pune and subsequently proved expensive. Right-armer Morkel, whose consistent variation in speed and length has bagged him seven wickets at a strike-rate of 17.1 in the 2011 IPL thus far, is a much better option for the defending champions.
“It was always going to be just the one game that Albie would sit out. He strained a bicep muscle. Resting him against Pune was only a precautionary move. He will be okay for Sunday,” said Chennai fast bowler Doug Bollinger.
The southpaw seamer looked forward to a continued run to the Super Kings’ recent form against former title holders Deccan.
Chennai racked up back-to-back wins over Pune this week to recover from consecutive losses to Kochi and Mumbai respectively earlier in the tournament and now sit in fifth position in the 10-team standings. The Chargers, meanwhile, are currently in sixth spot.
“We’ve had a couple of good victories of late. We just want to get some consistency going. We have seven games left in our campaign, which is a really good platform to get through to a semi-final spot and maybe even a place in the final,” added Bollinger.
The Australian recruit paid tribute to Subramaniam Badrinath, who has been the franchise’s top run-scorer by a long shot in 2011. The talented right-hander has racked up 235 runs at a strike-rate of 134.28 this year and, by Bollinger’s accounts, is set for more of the superb same against the Deccan attack.
“Badrinath has been batting fantastically. He has really grabbed his chances. I am really happy with him, with the way he is going about his game,” he said.
“He is just doing everything so simply and sticking to his strengths. He is doing a great job. He has been a very, very vital part of our team.”
Despite three wins from seven matches, the inconsistent Deccan outfit are yet to string together two wins in a row.
Chargers kingpin Dale Steyn, however, was confident his side would be able to add to Wednesday’s 55-run win over the Tuskers with triumph over Mahendra Dhoni’s men.
We’ve just got to try and keep winning. I’m sure we’re good for it. We are on the hunt for a place in the semi-finals,” concluded Steyn. Cricket365