Thursday’s clash in the VIVO IPL is going to be between two in form sides and we expect nothing less than fireworks. Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders both will want to put their best foot forward and inch closer to the playoffs.
Dinesh Karthik led Kolkata has been doing quite nicely despite certain early hiccups and are placed comfortably at the fourth spot in the points table. On the other hand the ever consistent Chennai Super Kings looks the side to beat in this year’s IPL. Kolkata will be more eager to secure two crucial points from this encounter as Kohli’s Royal Challengers might just topple them in case they lose against Chennai and RCB wins their next clash against the same guys. That match will be played on 5th of May.
In the first leg of this match-up between KKR and CSK, the Chennai side clinched an exceptional victory thanks to Sam Billings’s exceptional half-century. It was a high scoring encounter with both the teams amassing over 200 runs. CSK had won the toss in that encounter played at M.A.Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai and decided that they were going to bowl. The decision seemed to be perfect one when KKR was reduced to 89/5. But then an outstanding batting performance from Andre Russell and some contribution from Dinesh Karthik saw the Kolkata side score a mammoth 202/6.
In reply the CSK side got off to a rollicking start with Rayudu and Watson coming out all guns blazing. Cjennai were 75/1 in 5.5 overs when Watson departed. Immediately after Watson’s dismissal KKR tried to tighten the screws and the spinners did a fairly okay job in doing that. CSK almost looked out of the contest when Dhoni was dismissed but then Billings played an extraordinary innings of 56 from 23 balls and got them back in the hunt before Jadeja and Bravo finished off the game with one ball to spare.
Team News and Possible Strategies:
Chennai will be high on confidence after their last match victory against the Delhi Daredevils and will want to go in with an unchanged side. Faf du Plessis at the top of the order looked a bit out of sorts in the previous match but still had stuck in there and stitched a century run stand with Watson and in all certainty Watson and du Plessis will be opening in this match too. The CSK batting line-up looks extremely dangerous especially with Watson returning to form after a series of flops.
KKR on the other hand has some injury woes with Nitish Rana missing their training session due to back spasms and might have to skip this encounter. In that case the talented youngster Shubman Gill might get a promotion up the order and the KKR management might look to play either Ishank Jaggi or Rinku Singh in place of Rana.
For the Knight Riders, the mantra will be spin to win. With MS Dhoni struggling against leg-spinners in this IPL and also Chawla dismissing him in the previous encounter we expect KKR to be holding their spinners back for MS Dhoni. Chennai too will be looking to attack the opponent spinners who so far have not been that effective this year. Also in the previous encounter despite Chawla dismissing Dhoni, the bowling figures of Chawla was not that good. He went for 49 runs in his allotted 4 overs. Kuldeep too went at 9 runs per over. Only Narine has been exceptional with the ball in this year’s IPL and he was outstanding in the previous fixture between these two sides.
Last but not the least, KKR will be hoping that Lynn who got some form back in the last game against RCB continues to dazzle. For the home side, given that Jadeja and Harbhajan had to bowl their entire quota of overs in their previous game against Delhi, Shardul Thakur might just return in place of Karn Sharma.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Ishank Jaggi/ Rinku Singh, Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Jonshon, Shivam Mavi and Kuldeep Yadav
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, DJ Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma/Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi and KM Asif.
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Photo by aavtarsinghsaini