Dinesh Karthik-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will go up against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Wednesday in the 21st match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The match is scheduled to begin at 7.30 PM (IST).
CSK bounced back strongly in their last match against KL Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab (beating them by 10 wickets) after losing three successive games this year. The hard-hitting Australian batsman, Shane Watson, finally found his form in that night. He and his opening partner Faf du Plessis scored an unbeaten 80+ run knock each which brought a lot of confidence to Dhoni’s team.
CSK spin department too showed their character against the Punjab-based franchise for the first time this season. Spin-twins Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla picked up one wicket each while paceman Shardul Thakur was the star performer in the unit. The 28-year-old took two crucial wickets, including set-batsman Rahul who was about to unleash at the death.
KKR have started a season with a mixed-form this year. The Kolkata-based franchise’s batting order is struggling at the top, as star all-rounder, Sunil Narine was unable to hit the ball out of the park in 4 successive occasions. However, they have got a lot of firepower in the batting department, including ‘Dre Russ’ Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan and skipper Karthik himself. Exciting youngster Shubman Gill is also in fine form in the early half of the campaign.
KKR’s bowling department has been a major concern in the last few seasons. However, the inclusion of Pat Cummins has finally paid off for the King’s men. The 27-year-old Australian was bowling well in the 2nd and 3rd match before going to bowl at Sharjah. Indian exciting pacemen Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti are also showing their value this year.
However, Karthik’s side suffered an 18-run defeat to Shreyas Iyer’s Delhi Capitals in their last game at Sharjah. Chasing a humongous 229, the Knights finished at 210 for 8 after late cameos from Eoin Morgan (18-ball 44) and Rahul Tripathi (16-ball 36).
In head-to-head record, CSK are currently leading by 14-8 over KKR in the tournament’s history. As Kolkata’s youngsters are set to lock horns against Chennai’s experience, the fixture is going to be a cracker of a contest.
My Dream11 team for Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings match:
Andre Russell (Captain), Faf du Plessis (Vice-Captain), Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy
Probable XIs for both sides:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Rahul Tripathi, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Shardul Thakur
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik(WK/C), Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Siddhesh Lad, Nikhil Naik, Chris Green, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Rinku Singh, Ali Khan, Tom Banton, Manimaran Siddharth
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(WK/C), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Murali Vijay, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Santner, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Monu Kumar, Karn Sharma