Kolkata Knight Riders will be up against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in Dubai for their penultimate group match of the season and will need a win to stay in the hunt for play-offs in the Dream11 IPL 2020. The equations are getting tricky with time. Both KKR and Kings XI Punjab share equal number of points (12) but KKR are out of the Top 4 due to poor net run rate (-0.479), and hence, will be looking to make life simpler with an emphatic win.
Chennai Super Kings are already out of the play-off equation but they will be in no mood to take the game casually. In fact, there is a greater danger now for KKR as the men in yellow have nothing to lose. Their intent was pretty clear in the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore where Dhoni’s men cruised to an 8-wicket win. We can expect them to go for an all-out attack like a wounded tiger. KKR will need to be extremely calculative with each step they take from this point onwards.
The last time the two sides met, KKR pulled off a tight win, courtesy some mesmerising death bowling from Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. Rahul Tripathi was the only saving grace in the entire batting show with a sturdy 51-ball 81. If KKR are to win Thursday’s match, it will be imperative for them to fire like a unit, instead of depending on individual performances.
The head-to-head records are in favour of KKR with 13 wins in 21 matches. However, KKR have never defeated CSK twice in an IPL season and this is a record Eoin Morgan and his team will certainly like to change tonight.
In KKR’s previous match against KXIP, captain Morgan and Shubman Gill displayed fine form but the agony of a loss couldn’t be averted as, barring the duo, the other six batsmen till the lower middle order managed to score only 20 runs cumulatively. KKR surely will need to show more character to hold the innings together than what was shown in the last match. Morgan, meanwhile, will also look to improve on his batting average against CSK which currently stands at 17 in IPL.
On the bowling front, Narine may just be one of the trusted shoulders KKR will like to fire from tonight. He has been extremely effective against the Chennai batters over the years. With 14 wickets in 12 matches and an economy rate of 6.14 RPO, Narine has shown time and again why KKR have counted on him in critical times. In fact, it was Narine who removed the well-set Shane Watson (50) in the previous meeting, which turned the game on its head. Narine, along with the in-form Varun Chakravarthy, will need to fire cohesively to enhance KKR’s chances of a win tonight and bring back our campaign on track.
Kolkata Knight Riders take on Chennai Super Kings at 7.30PM IST in Dubai on Thursday. Stay tuned on our social pages for the latest updates. Korbo, lorbo, jeetbo!