Chennai Super Kings will host table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in the 23rd match of the IPL 2019, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. So far in this season, both teams have won four and lost one, however, based on the net run-rate, KKR occupies the top position while CSK is placed second in the points table.
The fact that the winner of this match will occupy the pole position makes this a mouth-watering clash. Once again, a slow pitch is offered to the teams which make stroke playing difficult for the batsmen.
Defending champions CSK is on a roll this season, with three consecutive wins in their first three games. However, they lost their away match against Mumbai Indians but again bounced back with a clinical win against the Kings XI Punjab.
Faf du Plessis’ inclusion solved CSK’s opening woes while Scott Kuggeleijn also performed well on his debut. Thus, Team Cricwizz feels the team from Chennai doesn’t have any selection issues and one can expect them to field the same playing XI against KKR.
Knight Riders are also fresh from a dominant win against the Rajasthan Royals. It couldn’t have come at a better time for KKR after they came through four consecutive nail-biters. Their bowling has been the Achilles heel so far in the tournament as the bowlers have conceded 180+ scores in four successive matches.
However, Harry Gurney’s deceptive bowling has brought some variety to their attack.KKR’s clinical bowling performance against RR will keep them in good stead ahead of a crucial match against a top opposition like Chennai. No changes are expected from the Kolkata team after a ruthless win against RR.
CSK Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(C &wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Scott Kuggeleijn, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
KKR Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(C &wk), Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna
MS Dhoni vs Harry Gurney
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lit up this year’s IPL with staggering innings against the RR. When his team were under pressure, he delivered with a magnificent 46-ball 75*. Though he failed against MI, he provided a pivotal finishing touch in the death overs against the Kings XI Punjab with a 23-ball 37*.
In IPL 2019, he has scored 156 runs at a strike-rate of 124.80 and averages a mammoth 156 aided by three not-outs. Overall, he has amassed 4172 IPL runs at an average of 41.30 and has a strike-rate of 137.64.
Harry Gurney made an impressive IPL debut against RR and won the Man of the Match award for his bowling efforts. His intelligent bowling had troubled Steve Smith too. He will be a key bowler for KKR in the death overs and can be handy on a slow Chepauk pitch. Overall in 125 T20’s, he has taken 147 wickets at an average of 22.78 and has an economy of 7.70.
Deepak Chahar vs Chris Lynn
Deepak Chahar has been a regular in Chennai’s set-up since last year and is the go-to bowler for MS Dhoni in the powerplays. Though he hasn’t taken a bulk of wickets, he has however always delivered with an economical spell, especially in the powerplays.
This season too, he has conceded at a mere 6.15 runs per over and has also taken five wickets in five matches. Overall, he has taken 16 wickets in 22 IPL matches at an average of 25.93 with an economy of 7.37.
Chris Lynn didn’t have a great start to this year’s IPL with scores of 7, 10 & 20 in the first three innings of the matches he played. But he has returned with a couple of good knocks in the last two matches. First, he scored a 31-ball 43 in a 205 run-chase against RCB, and he continued this good form in the last match, where he registered a 32-ball 50 on a slow Jaipur pitch. This innings will thus keep him in good stead going forward in the tournament.
This year, he has scored 130 runs in five matches at an average of 26 and has a strike-rate of 127.45. Overall, he has amassed 1005 career IPL runs in 33 matches at an average of 33.50. He further has a career strike-rate of 139.19 with five fifties to his name.
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Chennai’s slow pitch will help the medium pacers from both the teams as they have variations such as off-cutters which can be handy in the situation as the ball does not come properly to the bat. Team CricWizzpredicts CSK to win this match against KKR, considering the balanced line-up of Chennai coupled with a dominant home record. But one cannot underestimate the KKR team, which has many match-winners in their team, especially Andre Russell who has a day in and day out in this season guided his team to victory from a losing point.
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