The last time the Chennai Super Kings faced the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, Virender Sehwag rolled back the years with a sumptuous century, while Suresh Raina answered in kind with one of the best knocks you are ever likely to see in the tournament. So, CSK vs KXIP in IPL 2015 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday should be a lot of fun.
CSK have made the much better start to their IPL 2015 season than their opponents, with MS Dhoni's men winning four of their first five matches. The only blemish came in Ahmedabad when they were completely outplayed by the Rajasthan Royals. The Super Kings, did however bounce back in style with a comfortable victory over RCB in Bengaluru, where Raina made a marvellous half-century, while Ashish Nehra picked up an outstanding four wickets.
Having won both their games in Chennai to start the season, CSK will be confident of making it three home wins in a row and five out of six overall when Kings XI Punjab come calling.
KXIP have been underwhelming in IPL 2015 so far, winning just two of their five games, which currently puts them seventh in the points table. It is quite a difference from last season when they were leading from the front, and to find that mojo again, they need their batting to fire more often.
Glenn Maxwell has not had a proper score to show in IPL 2015, while Sehwag has not quite been at his best either. The decision to stick with Murali Vijay at the top has also raised a few eyebrows, with the dynamic and potentially lethal Manan Vohra cooling his heels waiting for a chance to impress.
Now might be the time to give Vohra a go, because clearly Vijay and Sehwag at the top hasn't clicked. Maxwell might also feel a little under pressure to perform after Shaun Marsh's match-winning innings, in both the original 40 overs, and also the Super Over in the last game.
Marsh came in for KXIP captain George Bailey, who was carrying a shoulder injury, and the left-hander showed just why he was such a revelation all those season ago in the IPL. Playing Marsh, in this form, seems necessary, and it only remains to be seen if Bailey, if he is fit that is, will sit another match out, or if they will take the bold decision of "resting" Maxwell, because David Miller also showed his worth in the last match against the Rajasthan Royals with a brilliant 30-ball 54.
"We certainly do have the team to beat them but it will be hard," said KXIP captain Bailey. "CSK are a strong side and they have been playing good cricket in this tournament. We haven't played at this venue for the last two years so it will take some time getting used to it. But, if we play well, we do have the right team to win.
"I don't think in any of the three disciplines we have done as well as we would like consistently. We have bowled and batted well in patches. Our fielding has been steady but putting down those half chances can turn the game around.
"Our batting has been a little disappointing so far but that corner has turned in the last game."
If KXIP are to beat CSK on Saturday, they will need to bowl well, field really well and bat even better, especially with Brendon McCullum, who has failed in his last two matches, probably due for another blitzkrieg of an innings.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Match Report, Score and Highlights HERE
CSK vs KXIP will be shown live from 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) in India on Sony Max, Sony Kix, Sony Aath and Sony Six. The IPL 2015 match can also be watched via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Audience in the UK and Europe can watch Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab live on Sky Sports, with the live stream option on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. Viewers around the world can also catch IPL 2015 Match 17 live on Cricketgateway.com.