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KKR upbeat ahead of CSK challenge

A tough battle awaits KKR on Wednesday (October 7) when they lock horns with three-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the 21st match of the Dream XI IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi. Chennai were on a 3-match losing streak before their top order fired against Kings XI Punjab in the last match to register a 10-wicket win. Kolkata, on the other hand, had a tough contest against Delhi Capitals in Sharjah and will be all too keen to make a strong comeback against MS Dhoni’s side.

At this moment, while Kolkata occupy the 4th slot in the points table with 4 points from as many matches, Chennai sit just one place lower with equal number of points from 5 matches. If we talk about head-to-head, CSK have an upper hand, having won 13 out of 20 encounters so far. There is no denial that Chennai have an enviable depth in the batting line-up with the likes of Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo and Piyush Chawla holding the fort at the tail. There is also no doubt that Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis have struck an explosive form in their last match. But the KKR bowling attack, comprising the likes of Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy, had been extremely effective in the Abu Dhabi conditions against Sunrisers Hyderabad and the team is confident of an equally impressive show this time.

“The last game that we played in Abu Dhabi, the bowlers were top notch. I think all the bowlers contributed really well. And we have been practising here for quite a long time. So, it’s like a home game for us. We have some experience now of the ground and I am 100 percent sure that the bowlers know what lengths to bowl on this wicket. This ground is bigger compared to the Sharjah one and I am sure our bowlers will give a tough time to CSK,” said Rahul Tripathi, who made his debut for KKR against Delhi and immediately impressed with a rapid 16-ball 36 lower down the order.

Talking about statistics, Andre Russell has been extremely effective against the Chennai side, scoring 224 runs at an average of 56 (SR 164.70). His strike rate against Shardul Thakur (385.7) and countrymate Bravo (260) just goes on to show the merciless hitting they have been catered to in the past. For Chennai, it’s skipper MS Dhoni who has been one of the most successful run-getters against KKR, collecting 471 runs at an average of 52.33 (SR. 134.57). Dhoni, however, has mostly been quiet against Narine, scoring mere 29 runs off 59 balls with ‘0’ boundaries in 12 meetings. Narine, overall, has gone on to pluck 13 wickets from 11 matches against CSK, with 4 out of those 13 scalps coming against the dangerous Watson.

Despite the loss in Sharjah, Dinesh Karthik and his boys seemed pretty upbeat ahead of the high-voltage clash against CSK. Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana have been in good form and with Tripathi joining in to provide further impetus, KKR’s batting line-up looks almost impenetrable. “Everyone has been really positive in the team. The game against CSK is really important for us. They have done well in the last match and they have always been a very strong and experienced team. So, we will look to start well and finish on the winning side,” Tripathi signed off.

Well, our Knights look all set for an electrifying battle. But what about our Toofani fans? Are you ready for yet another stormy affair? If yes, roar louder! Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo!

KKR take on CSK at 7.30 PM IST in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Stay tuned on our social networking pages for all the latest updates.