IPL 2020 Match 21 Preview: KKR vs CSK - Rejigged Kolkata batting order set to face cautious Chennai
Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings have four points each and the side winning this match will sneak ahead in the already emerging middle muddle in the leaderboard.
Who bats where for Kolkata?
The biggest point of interest in the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders will be the batting order of Kolkata. KKR have persisted with Sunil Narine at the top of the order alongside Shubman Gill despite a string of four low scores. More than that, Narine has not looked like turning things around with his limited ability against rapid bowling.
Rahul Tripathi, who came in at number 8 in the last match, showed his range and is a good option to open for KKR. This means that Narine drops lower down the order with Tripathi opening the batting alongside Shubman Gill.
With Kolkata having dropped Kuldeep Yadav in their last match, they look like a more balanced unit with an extra batting option at their disposal. As Dinesh Karthik said in the post match presentation after their last match, their batting order will be reconsidered.
Apart from the change of Sunil Narine's batting position, Dinesh Karthik has also not been able to do his best after coming into bat at number 4. He is expected to drop down at number 6 where he is the most suited to with Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan and and Russell slotting before him.
KKR have their bowling covered
With the likes of Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kolkata have some brilliant bowling options. Even if a couple of bowlers are not having their best day, skipper Dinesh Karthik has enough personnel to mix and match.
The way Varun Chakravarthy has risen to the occasion this season, it has given the KKR bowling a cushion.
Watson back in form
A 181-run opening stand between Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis in Chennai's last match - the highest-ever opening stand in the franchise's history - did mask a lot of deficiencies for CSK as head coach Stephen Fleming pointed out after the match.
With MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav not having their best outing with the bat this season, CSK do look a bit weak. However, it might just be a matter of time before their batting clicks.
CSK gain balance with Bravo and Thakur's inclusion
CSK have included both Dwayne Bravo and Sam Curran in their bowling attack and have brought in Shardul Thakur as the extra Indian pace bowling option alongside Deepak Chahar. Thakur and Bravo have been bowling well at the death which has provided better balance to Chennai.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) - Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) - Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
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