KKR vs CSK IPL 2021 Preview: Rejuvenated CSK aim to undo Kolkata's out-of-form middle order
Chennai Super Kings have somewhat got on a roll in IPL 2021, with back-to-back victories.
CSK boost NRR
More than the wins, it is the manner of their victories which has already washed away some of their negativity from the last season, when they finished at the second last spot.
The team has four points, but more importantly, has a net run rate of +1.194, the best in the competition. A couple of things are going in their favour.
Chennai's serious batting depth
One is the depth of their batting line up. Even if the opposition manages to prize out a couple of wickets, Chennai bat right down to number 11 and hence, dismissals do not affect their run rate that much.
Although opener Ruturaj Gaikwad is yet to fire, Faf du Plessis has done well in two of the three innings. The team then has Moeen Ali who is playing the role of the aggressor and is breaking the momentum which a slow start can often lead to.
Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu are experienced batsmen in the middle order. Chennai then have Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni and Sam Curran who come out to bat given the situation of the match and each of the three are capable of taking the attack to the opposition.
Even Dwayne Bravo who is batting as low as number 9 showed with a 8-ball 20, what he is capable of in the last few deliveries. Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar, who bat at number 10 and number 11, can hit a long ball as well. Hence, Chennai have their batting covered.
Swing and spin on offer in Mumbai
Secondly, courtesy of playing a lot of their matches at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, their swing bowlers Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran are enjoying the conditions. This is the reason why the opposition batsmen trying to go too hard at the outset, end up losing wickets - as was the case with both Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
Interestingly, Wankhede is also offering spin this time around which then brings Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja into the equation. As a result, Chennai are looking like a complete team this time around.
KKR look to rectify middle order errors
Chennai will face Kolkata Knight Riders, who have won one of their three matches. While their top order is doing well, it is the middle order consisting of Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Kartik and Andre Russell which is letting them down.
KKR will consider bringing in Sunil Narine with Shakib Al Hasan not being able to do anything extraordinary in the first three matches.
Fun88 are a good bet, after you have had a look at our cricket match predictions below.
Who will win? CSK
Who will score the most runs? Faf du Plessis (CSK), Eoin Morgan (KKR)
Who will take most wickets? Deepak Chahar (CSK), Shakib Al Hasan (KKR)
Most 6s? Ambati Rayudu (CSK), Eoin Morgan (KKR)
Here are the predicted playing XIs:
Chennai Super Kings - Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine/Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
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