Chennai Super Kings managed to keep their winning streak at home with a seven-wicket thrashing of Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai Tuesday night.
The hosts limited the visitors to 108 for nine despite an unbeaten 50 off 44 balls from Andre Russell. Chennai Super Kings's medium pacer Deepak Chahar bagged three wickets and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir claimed two wickets each.
In response, Chennai chased down the comfortable target in 17.2 overs. With an emphatic win, Chennai is back at the top of the table with five victories from six games while Kolkata suffered their second loss in six matches.
Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Kings Eleven Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai at 8 p.m today.
The Indian team for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 will be announced on 15 April in Mumbai.
So far, only New Zealand have announced their 15-member squad for the event 30 May - 14 July
Captain Virat Kohli, will be one of the favourites to lift the trophy, though hosts England and Australia are likely to offer a tough challenge to India's chance.
While most members of Indian squad pick themselves, all eyes will be on the crucial No 4 slot in the middle order. India has tried multiple players on that spot since 2015 World Cup, but none has been able to make that No 4 place his own. Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar are likely front-runners for that spot, while Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer cannot be ruled out with their recent display of talent in current IPL.
MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, and Hardik Pandya form the backbone of the middle-order, but India will depend heavily on their top trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli to do the maximum of the scoring.
Among bowlers, spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal appear a certainty, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, and Umesh Yadav form an interesting pool of pacers to choose from.
India will open their campaign against South Africa on 6 June.
According to an EC official, the experiment has already started with a match played between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings which took place at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on April 3.
He said, at that match, all relevant material was displayed for creating awareness amongst the voters.
The officer informed that the initiative was taken following a suggestion by the Election Commission of India which had asked the office of the Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer to contact the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for arranging a voter awareness campaign.
He said that voters will also be appealed in a similar fashion during upcoming IPL matches to be held in Mumbai.
BANGALORE: Andre Russell continued his destructive Indian Premier League form with an unbeaten 48 off 13 deliveries to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a five-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday. Russell hit seven sixes from nine balls as he drove his side to the win with five balls to spare, keeping Virat Kohli's Challengers winless in five matches in the process.
Kohli (84) and South African AB de Villiers (63) had combined for 108 of the home side's 205 for three but their wish for the first victory was dashed when their death bowlers were unable to contain Russell.
"I was watching on the tellie upstairs so I kind of knew what the wicket was doing," said Man of the Match Russell.
"Sixty off 20 oddballs is not going to happen every day so we had to make sure we put our bodies on the line and I didn't quit. I trust my strength and I trust my power and I have a good bat speed so I trust that as well."
The home side was not helped by pacemen Mohammed Siraj being suspended midway through the 18th over for bowling a second beamer and Kohli said they deserved their place at bottom of the IPL standings. "If we bowl like that, (and) don't show composure in pressure moments, we deserve to be where we are in the table," the India captain said. "There's no rocket science behind it. We haven't played the kind of cricket we should be playing at the level of the IPL and if you bowl like that, with not enough bravery in the crunch moments, then it's always going to be difficult when you have power-hitters like Russell in the opposition."