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Temperatures in a few places in Chennai, over the weekend, are expected to be higher than normal. Heat waves, claim the experts. But ask any cricket lover there, who would invariably be a Dhoni fan, they have one answer to anything exceptional during this season, “Thala factor”.
It has been a long wait for Chennai. Firstly, a two year ban, and then CSK’s home games being shifted out of Chennai the previous year. Now, IPL is finally here, and so are the General Elections, both have been a long wait, one more than the other, and both are highly anticipated, one more than the other.
The only group of people who have waited longer for something are RCB fans; for their maiden IPL trophy. However, RCB will kick-start their campaign short of few players. Australia find themselves in Sharjah locking horns with Pakistan. This rules out the inclusion of both Marcus Stoinis and Coulter-Nile. New Zealanders have arrived extremely late to be in the side ideally, as late as last night, courtesy of New Zealand cricket awards. But their exclusion cannot be corroborated, rather , chances of them playing despite the jet lag are realisable. The two Kiwis in the RCB squad are Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme.
The Kiwi on the other end of the park, in CSK’s dugout, is Mitch Santner, the left arm orthodox spinner. However, a big and certain miss for CSK will be Lungi Ngidi. Ngidi was an important contributor in CSK’s scheme of things last year. He has pulled out of the tournament due to an injury. It remains to be seen who will replace Ngidi.