With literally nothing to play for, KXIP take on table-toppers CSK in their final match of the season. A win for Punjab will lift them to the sixth position, whereas if Chennai win, they will top this year’s league table.
Chennai would be hoping for a victory as a win will directly put them to Qualifier 1. However, they can also lose the match by a small margin and still qualify for Qualifier 1 courtesy of superior net run rate.
Both teams will be looking to give their underplayed players a chance to audition themselves for the next year’s tournament. MS Dhoni, however, is likely to rest this match with back problems cropping in ahead of the World Cup, but you can never predict what Dhoni does, thus we are keeping him in the CSK probables for today’s match.
Kings XI Punjab (Probable XI): Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicolas Pooran (WK), Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.
Chennai Super Kings (Probable XI): Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C, WK), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir.
KL Rahul vs Imran Tahir
With 5half-centuries and 1 century already in IPL 2019, KL Rahul has scored 522 runs in 13 matches this season and has been the batting mainstay for KXIP. Being guaranteed a World Cup spot for India after his heroics against Mumbai, Rahul would try to score more runs to get into the playing XI of the Indian team after Rohit Sharma has been seen to be out of form in the last couple of months.
Averaging an impressive 41.43 in his overall IPL career, Rahul has amassed more than 1906 runs in 65 matches with an S/R of 136.63. With 15 fifties and 1 century in IPL, along with having a high-score of 100*, Rahul is the pillar of Punjab’s batting line-up.
Ageing like fine wine, Imran Tahir at the age of 40 has set IPL 2019 on fire. One of the reasons why Chennai have been dominating this season, Tahir has picked wickets at crucial intervals for CSK. Whenever Chennai are in dire need of wickets, Dhoni has always turned to Tahir and the talismanic South African has repaid MSD’s faith.
Tahir has already picked up 21 wickets in 13 matches with an economy rate of 6.30 in IPL 12. In 51 IPL matches, the spinner has picked up 74 wickets at an average of 20.14 with a healthy economy rate of 7.87.
Ravichandran Ashwin vs MS Dhoni
Ravichandran Ashwin needs no introduction to cricket fans. The 2016 ICC Cricketer of the Year has picked up 125 wickets in 138 matches with a decent average of 26.29. With an economy of 6.80, Ashwin is not only a wicket-taking bowler but also is economical as he curbs the flow of runs. Having already picked up 15 wickets with an economy of 7.39 in IPL 12, Ashwin is leading his team as an example.
MS Dhoni has been in sublime form in this IPL season scoring 358 runs in 11 matches at a mind-boggling average of 119.33. With an S/R of 142.62, Dhoni has scored 3 fifties with his highest score being 84 not out. In his IPL career, the CSK skipper has scored 4374 runs at an impressive average of 42.46. With an S/R of 138.54, he further has 23 fifties to his name.
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The Mohali pitch tends to be a flat track and thus we expect plenty of runs in this match. KXIP would like to finish their season on a high and as CSK will try to test their fringe players, Team CricWizz expects KXIP to win the match.
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