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Believe it or not, it has been difficult to see the way Chennai Super Kings have been struggling after their 12 editions of supremacy over most of the teams. This year has been very challenging for the franchise and one of the prime reasons is losing on two senior players who had a huge influence on the team.

It was still not done for them as after arriving in UAE, 13 people from the CSK contingent contracted the deadly virus. Most of the players were safe but it still adds a lot of pressure. While talking about their miseries on the pitch, CSK throughout the years has been known as a consistent, strong and an expressive batting line-up.

However, this season things are just not clicking. For KXIP, the opportunities have been there but errors in the crucial stages of the game have cost them points and it is also the reason for their position in the league. There is still time but Punjab have to take lessons from their experiences in the past and correct them.

KXIP vs CSK is going to be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on the fourth of October.

Head to Head

Matches: 21, CSK-12, KXIP- 9, N/R- 0

Team News

KXIP suffered a heavy defeat in their last game against Mumbai Indians. It was a game perfectly planned by Rohit Sharma and Co. and they made sure that the Punjab openers were done and dusted within the first ten overs itself. 

However, the major issue for the franchise this season has not been their batting but their death bowling. KXIP conceded 104 runs in the last 6 overs of the game against Mumbai and that has been the story in almost every game.

They have once conceded 30 in an over against DC, 30 in an over against RR and 29 against MI. The team has been batting really well this season but the dependence on the openers has to end, while there have to be some tough decisions made in the bowling department.

As cold and harsh it may seem but Chennai are totally deserving of the last spot in the league. Despite a number of big names, the batsmen specifically have failed in their job to set the tone right for the team. The only time they did it was against Mumbai in the opening game of the IPL 2020 and guess what? CSK won.

Since then the team has been shambolic in their stronger zone and people may call it the effect of Ambati Rayudu’s absence but scoring 50 odd runs in the first 10 overs despite having an above par depth in batting is unacceptable. CSK despite Rayudu’s presence were poor against SRH as their extremely slow start made an easily achievable total to an almost impossible one.

They did come close, they got lucky too but they still failed to get the three points. CSK too will have to make some tough calls and it is time to replace the middle order with some youngster who can at least come out and express himself.

Pitch and conditions

The game has been favoring the team batting first more than ever and thus, the toss will be important for both the teams. However, both the super-over games have taken place on this ground and it will be interesting to see how this game turns out.

The second match in two days may bring the overall scores down but hopefully, both the teams will give their all to climb up the table. Any score around the 170-180 mark will suffice.

Probable Playing XI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf Du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (C and WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar.

Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C and WK), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammad Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Sarfaraz Khan/Krishnappa Gowtham.

Key Battles

Ambati Rayudu (CSK) vs Sheldon Cottrell (KXIP)

Ambati Rayudu (CSK) vs Sheldon Cottrell (KXIP)

Ambati Rayudu kicked off the IPL in style after scoring a match-winning half-century against the defending champions Mumbai Indians. However, he then picked a knock in his thigh and missed the following two games. He made his comeback against SRH but couldn’t make an impact as the team lost its third game in a row. For Sheldon Cottrell, it will be an opportunity to exploit a batting attack that has been struggling and will be nervous until they add a grand total to their innings.

Deepak Chahar (CSK) vs Mayank Agarwal (KXIP)

Deepak Chahar (CSK) vs Mayank Agarwal (KXIP)

Deepak Chahar may not be having an IPL as glorious as 2018 but he is doing well comparatively. Things may get bad as he is about to face an in-form Mayank Agarwal. Sanju Samson had caused a lot of problems to Chahar and it was proved that an in-form batsman could easily find ways to score, even the good balls.

Mayank Agarwal lost his wicket to a brilliant ball by Jasprit Bumrah and that may put some questions in his mind when he faces Deepak Chahar in his opening spell. The battle could go either way as both will try to get their teams back to winning ways.

Prediction

The game is super important for both as the tournament is in its fast-moving stages. Teams will have to keep their performance and fitness levels up, while also putting up numbers on the field. As it seems, Punjab look the side who can fix their mistakes better. However, you cannot write Chennai off so easily and Chennai will be up to the task.

The game will be a do-or-die one in a lot of ways and will also add to the momentum of the team, who wish to make it to the playoffs.

Cricwizz predicts KXIP to win the game