The 21st match of the Indian Premier League is scheduled to take place between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Sharjah. Chennai Super Kings after three consecutive losses made an amazing comeback against the Kings Xl Punjab to win the match by 10 wickets. While, KKR will feel a bit unfortunate as they just fell short by 18 runs in the chase of 229 against Delhi Capitals.
Chennai Super Kings will be hoping they can continue their winning momentum coming to the match. The team was desperate for a win against KXIP and would be really happy with the way Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson guided the team to a comfortable victory as they chased down the target of 178 without the loss of a wicket.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been doing a decent job this season, winning 2 matches out of the 4 played. Though, the huge concern for the team would be the form of their captain Dinesh Karthik and will be hoping he delivers for the team this time around. The match against Delhi Capitals, KKR were given a whopping total of 229 to chase down. Though the pair of Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi threatened the DC, they eventually fell 18 runs short of the target.
Can the Men in Yellow continue the winning momentum? Or will the two time champions dominate the MS Dhoni led team?
Head to Head
Matches Played- 22, KKR- 8, CSK- 14, N/R- 0
Kolkata Knight Riders have not reported any injury concerns and are likely to go ahead with the same team that played against Delhi Capitals.
Chennai Super Kings as seen in the past like to stick on to the playing Xl and seldom make changes to the line-up. They are likely to feature the same Xl that showcased a dominant performance against the Kings Xl Punjab team.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch in Abu Dhabi is on the slower side when compared to the pitch in Dubai and Sharjah and for that reason the spinners could have a say. Given that the average score batting first at this ground has been around the 160-170 mark. Any score above that could prove a challenging one for the chasing team.
The conditions are ideal for cricket as clear skies are expected throughout. The temperature is expected to float around the 32 degree range along with the high humidity means the players will have to drain it out at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Probable Playing Xl
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar
Faf du Plessis(CSK) vs Pat Cummins(KKR)
The CSK opener is in the form of his life and looks unstoppable at the moment. The 36-year old is the second highest run-scorer in the tournament and is only 20 runs behind the orange cap holder KL Rahul. The South African scored a fluent 87 runs of 53 balls against the KXIP and is looking really hungry for more.
KKR would be doing all the homework possible as they would be looking forward to dismissing the opener as early as possible. The best person to do the job for KKR would be the Australian pacer Pat Cummins, who is currently the World’s No.1 Test bowler. His experience will definitely come into play once again.
Can the Former Proteas Captain grab the orange cap? Or will the Aussie spearhead spoil the party for the South African?
Eoin Morgan(KKR) vs Dwayne Bravo(CSK)
Eoin Morgan does not have a great record in the IPL as for some reason the English captain has not been able to convert the good starts. Said that, Morgan was seen in a spectacular form against the DC, scoring a quick fire 44 of just 18 balls. Will this be the momentum the England skipper was looking for?
Dwayne Bravo has become the face of CSK and his experience can be compared to none. The West Indian recently entered the record books as he became the first bowler to claim 500 wickets in T20 cricket. He is someone who uses his experience to great effect and once again would be looking to outsmart the hard-hitting Morgan with his brilliant slower deliveries.
In the battle between two experienced contenders, Who do you think will win?
Both the teams seem to be in good shape. Though KKR have a very poor record against CSK, winning only 8 matches out of the 22 matches played between them. But KKR will want to put that away as this is a new season and things are different. The CSK will feel very confident after the last match and will be looking forward to replicating it.
Kolkata Knight Riders have a huge concern in form of Dinesh Karthik, the captain has failed to contribute for the team and he seems to be in a very bad phase. Will his batting woes affect his captaincy? It will be interesting to watch how the veteran approaches this situation.
Considering the conditions and the form of the players one would say the three times champions Chennai Super Kings have a slight edge in this encounter.
Cricwizz predicts Chennai Super Kings to win