Following its thumping 78-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings will look to move clear of a tight midfield pack of teams when it takes on a mercurial Punjab Kings at the MAC Stadium here on Wednesday.

The Super Kings bounced back in style against SRH with a clinical performance. Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his merry run while Daryl Mitchell finally found form. More importantly, the hosts’ bowlers took wickets in the PowerPlay thanks to Tushar Deshpande, an area where the side has struggled often this season. 

However, the form of Ajinkya Rahane continues to be a cause of concern, and there is an argument for giving someone like Sameer Rizvi an opportunity.

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Meanwhile, the Kings have arrived in the city in a buoyant mood after their sensational record-chase of 262 against Kolkata Knight Riders. The win was set up by openers Prabhsimran Singh and Johnny Bairstow, both of whom finally came to the fore after an underwhelming start to the season. 

If the top-order can be more consistent, it eases the burden on Shashank Singh and Asutosh Sharma, who have had to do the heavy lifting with the bat. If Shikhar Dhawan returns – a call on his availability will be taken on match day – it will bolster Punjab’s chances.

But the Punjab side’s bigger worry is its bowling, as the pace attack has leaked runs like a sieve. Having won just three games, it is a do-or-die match for the visitors, and a loss could well end their slim hopes of qualification.