Kings XI Punjab like to bat and score lots and lots of runs; Chennai Super Kings also look to thwack the ball at every opportunity in search of runs, runs and more runs. So, when the two sides meet in the semifinal of the Champions League T20 2014 in Hyderabad on Thursday, expect a match where runs will be the only order of the day.
These two teams have been in such a situation before, and recently too, when the Kings XI Punjab beat CSK in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2014 – a virtual semifinal.
In that particular match, KXIP, batting first, scored a massive 226 in their 20 overs courtesy a vintage Virender Sehwag hundred. In reply, CSK led by one of the best knocks ever seen in the IPL by Suresh Raina, threatened to overhaul that massive target before falling a tad short, but not before breaching the 200-run mark themselves.
Nothing has changed in these two sides – those big-hitters are still very much there, and if the likes of Sehwag, Manan Vohra, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Raina, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and MS Dhoni catch fire at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, then the pedestrians outside the stadium would be well advised to take cover.
"If that is the theory, then the team that bowl well will have a huge advantage," said Kings XI Punjab skipper George Bailey when asked if the CLT20 2014 semifinal will be about who outbats the other.
"I don't think it is just about the batting, though. I think the bowling is going to be, probably, more important because both batting groups are strong."
Kings XI Punjab come into this semifinal in top form, having topped their group courtesy four wins out of four. However, the same cannot be said of CSK, who only managed to pick up two wins in four matches. Yes, one of their games was rained out, but they only made it to the semis after the Lahore Lions failed to pick up a victory in their last group match.
Therefore, Kings XI Punjab will certainly have the advantage going into the semifinal, but Bailey also knows that knockout matches are chiefly about who shows up on that day.
"Our first target was to qualify for the knockout stages, but we know once we reach the semifinals, you need to play your best, win the key moment and have a little bit of luck."
CSK are filled with big-game players, with their captain MS Dhoni one of the best in crunch situations. The Super Kings will look to that experience – they have won the CLT20 before, while Kings XI Punjab are playing the tournament for the first time – and hope it turns out to be the difference in the end.
Where to Watch Live
The second semifinal of the CLT20 2014 is scheduled for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start in Hyderabad, with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 (Hindi) and Star Sports HD1. Viewers can also catch the match via free live streaming online on Starsports.com.
Europe and UK viewers can watch the match on Eurosport or via a live stream courtesy the channel's online Player. US viewers catch the action on ESPN or Watch ESPN, and the game can be live streamed by audience in Canada on Watch Sportsnet.
Rest of the world viewers can watch the match via free live streaming on StarSports.com.