IPL 2020 Match 49 Preview: CSK vs KKR - Eliminated Chennai out to upset Kolkata's applecart
Chennai Super Kings, with eight points after four wins from 12 matches, are the only team to have been eliminated, but still have a lot to play for.
The remaining two matches give CSK the opportunity to try out their players on the bench. This will not only provide the squad with some game time but will also give the franchise a chance to take a call on their players before the auctions for IPL 2021.
Ruturaj Gaikwad shows spark
There haven't been many positives for Chennai in this season but a certain positive for them in their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore was opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. The batsman had got a couple of games in the middle order but failed to deliver.
Batting in his preferred spot at the top of the order for the second time, Gaikwad showed why the team has shown their faith in him, remaining unbeaten on 65 off 51 deliveries to take Chennai to an eight-wicket victory.
Will CSK give Tahir another go?
Mitchell Santner made his IPL 2020 debut in the last match and did the job with figures of 4-0-23-1, keeping things tight and will get another go. Jharkhand pacer Monu Kumar also got his CSK cap in the last match and bowled only two overs in which he conceded 20 runs and looked alright.
CSK are expected to play the same team unless they have seen enough of Imran Tahir and want to give finger spinner R Sai Kishore an opportunity. This will open up an overseas slot as well.
KKR caught in points table battle
After a loss in their last match against Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders have been caught in the points table muddle. They are now being challenged by Kings XI Punjab, who have climbed ahead of KKR in the points table while the Eoin Morgan-led side has slipped to the fifth place.
Kolkata will have to win both their remaining matches by decent margins in order to give themselves the best chance of playoff qualification.
Room for only one of Cummins or Ferguson
It was another batting collapse for the side in the last match as both Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik were dismissed for ducks. A partnership between Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan resurrected the innings but there wasn't still much on the board for the economical Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins to defend.
If Andre Russell is good to go, there will be room for only one of Pat Cummins or Lockie Ferguson.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins/Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, MS Dhoni(c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar, Monu Kumar, Imran Tahir
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