IPL 2021: CSK are the team to beat at the moment, says Brian Lara

Written by Abhishek Patil

Former West Indies captain and legendary batsman, Brain Lara talked up Chennai Super Kings’ chance of finishing at the top 2 spots at the end of the league stages, saying MS Dhoni’s men are the team to beat at the moment in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Brain Lara highlighted that Chennai Super Kings have a strong batting line-up to make good use of good batting conditions while a handy bowling unit to take advantage of bowler-friendly conditions in IPL 2021.

Lara, speaking to Star Sports after CSK’s 7-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 23 of IPL 2021 on Wednesday, said the former champions are high on confidence and are playing a “different level” of cricket.

Notably, CSK completed their 5th straight win of the season to return to the top of the IPL 2021 points table on Wednesday. They gunned down a 172-run target against Sunrisers Hyderabad with ease in their first match of the season at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

While heaping praise on Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad for their ability to consistently provide solid foundations for the rest of the batting order, Lara said CSK’s top 3 are looking settled and can dominate opposition bowling attacks. It was Ruturaj and du Plessis who stitched a 129-run opening stand for CSK that helped them chase 172 with ease against SRH on Wednesday.

“Yeah, beautiful. It’s unbelievable that when they started, they looked out of sorts. Especially Ruturaj, the way he started, his foot wasn’t moving properly. But MS Dhoni stuck with him, he stuck with the opening partnership which is great. And they are laying the foundation now. They did not look disturbed at all at any point of time today (Wednesday),” Lara said.

“Their top 3 are important. You can’t leave out Moeen Ali as well. If they bat well, they look like they can chase any kind of target on good batting tracks. And if their bowlers are doing well on good bowling tracks, then they still have got a batting unit to survive it.

“I think they are the team to beat at the moment. They don’t have big somebody like an Andre Russell who is going to go out there and score you a 50 in 15 balls but they have got a team which is most important,” he added.

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Abhishek Patil