After two consecutive defeats to Ruby Trichy Warriors — in the last league game and the first Qualifier — Chepauk Super Gillies (CSG) will be under pressure when it takes on Dindigul Dragons in the second TNPL Qualifier on Friday.
In both games, the defending champion struggled to post a competitive score, with only S. Radhakrishnan managing fighting half-centuries.
Opener N. Jagadeesan, the leading run-getter for CSG, will need to come up with a big knock yet again to help his team start well. CSG will hope for more contributions from the rest of the batting unit, especially skipper Kaushik Gandhi.
A thing that works for the title-holder, though, is the depth in its squad with quality First Class players. However, the availability of pacer Sandeep Warrier is still uncertain, according to the team.
On the other hand, Dragons played a clinical game against Lyca Kovai Kings in the Eliminator and will go in with confidence and momentum on its side.
The team has a very good bowling unit. L. Vignesh and the two left-arm pacers R. Suthesh and Gurjapneet Singh proved to be a potent seam attack. M. Silambarasan provides the left-arm spin option.
In its last two matches, the big-hitting Vivek Raj chipped in with vital half-centuries in quick time while chasing, but Dragons will expect better contributions from the top order.
When asked about the over-reliance on skipper C. Hari Nishaanth, coach S. Badrinath said: “It is something that he has to do because partnerships haven’t clicked. Hari has taken it upon himself and handled the pressure really well. But yes, there is some concern at the top. The opening stands haven’t been great, and we are addressing it.”