Match: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings (KKR vs CSK)
Date:October 07, 2020
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Kolkata Knight Riders have won two and lost two games, but will take heart from the fight they showed in the last game. Chasing 229 for a win at Sharjah, the batters, in particular Rahul Tripathi and Eoin Morgan, raised their game and took KKR close but fell short by 18 runs eventually. However, their muddled batting line-up was criticized in the match, with the move to open with Narine despite his weaknesses against pace, playing Morgan at 6 or sending Tripathi below Pat Cummins being questioned.
CSK, on the other hand, is having an iffy season this year, with three successive losses. Though they won the last game convincingly by 10 wickets, their bowling and middle order remains a huge worry. MS Dhoni has not looked in the best rhythm as well, and they will have their task cut out against a dangerous KKR side.
A hot day with temperatures near 40 degrees awaits. There will hardly be any breeze, and a humid, dry day is on the cards.
The ground here is flat and hard, which should mean plenty of runs for the batsmen. Spinners will get some help from the track as well in the second half of the game. A target of 175 should be considered par.
The team that wins the toss will be looking to bat first. CSK didn’t get much success while chasing recently and would want to put runs on the board to send KKR under pressure.
KKR Expected XI and Team News
Kolkata Knight Riders might not make many changes for the game despite the loss against Delhi. They might ponder bringing in Tom Banton for Sunil Narine, who has failed as an opener, though that will weaken their bowling strength.
Eoin Morgan: The English skipper has played a number of quick cameos, and took KKR close to the target of 229 in the last game after they had lost quick wickets. However, he is yet to get a fifty and will be looking to get a big score.
Nitish Rana: The left-hander scored a fluent 58 against Delhi and will be the key player yet again. With Narine not doing well as an opener, Rana has been coming in early and has anchored the innings to perfection.
Shubhman Gill, Sunil Narine/Tom Banton, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (c&wk), Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
CSK Expected XI and Team News
Despite losing three games on the trot, CSK went into their last match against Punjab without making a single change. They won the match by 10 wickets, and it is unlikely that they will tinker the winning combination.
Faf du Plessis: The South African has three fifties in five games and averages 92 this season. He has been the only impressive CSK batsman this season, and the team would want him to raise his game yet another time. He comes into the match on the back of an unbeaten 87 against KXIP.
Dwayne Bravo: The West Indian recently became the first ever T20 bowler to pick up 500 wickets. The pitch here will assist his cutters, and he can be lethal.
Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla
Head to head record of KKR vs CSK:
The two teams have played 21 games over the season, with CSK winning 13. KKR has on 7 and will be looking to bridge the gap. One game ended in No Result.
MPL Fantasy Prediction for KKR vs CSK:
WK: Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni both have struggled this season, but Karthik can come good. He has not been in the best form and will be looking to contribute and lead from the front.
Batsmen: Faf du Plessis has three fifties from five matches and has been the best CSK batsman. Ambati Rayudu had been the Man of the Match in CSK’s win over Mumbai in the season opener and will look to contribute yet again. Morgan has been in dangerous form and will hope KKR send him higher up the order, while Nitish Rana has played vital cameos.
All-rounders: Sam Curran has been one of the most impressive players this year. He has batted with a strike rate of over 260 and has been among the wickets as well. Andre Russell has shown glimpses of what he can do with the bat and has been impressive with the ball, while Narine should be backed to come good. He struggles against pace while opening, but with CSK not having speed guns with the new ball, Narine will fancy his chances.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar has been economical and finds a place in the MPL fantasy team. Pat Cummins has plenty of experience, while Shivam Mavi has been one of the young players who has left his mark. He has kept things tight and has been Karthik’s go-to player in the middle overs.
Captain and VC: Andre Russell and Sunil Narine
Match Prediction for KKR vs CSK:
Kolkata Knight Riders come into the game on the back of a loss, but we back them to go the distance. KKR has a well-rounded team with plenty of match-winners, while CSK seems to be relying heavily on Faf du Plessis.
Kolkata Knight Riders are the favourites to win the clash.
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