Indian Premier League, 2018 

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings

The Big Picture

The’Men in Yellow’ from Chennai led by their very own ‘Thala’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in some form this season, and with six wins in eight matches look prime to enter the Playoffs. While individual brilliance has defined CSK’s campaign thus far, it is the resurgence of MS Dhoni the batsman.

The 36-year-old who stroked at 116 in the previous season has been at its ravaging best, having already accumulated 286 runs at a strike-rate of 169, his highest in the 11-year history of the IPL. Dhoni has been duly implemented by Shane Watson (281), Ambati Rayudu (370) and Suresh Raina (205), and individual flashes from Bravo and Billings who won their side games from near death.

While their death bowling still remains a concern, Lungi Ngidi impressive debut against Delhi Daredevils and Asif’s bowling during the powerplay overs in which he hurried the likes of Shaw and Munro with pace and bounce, the Men in Yellow might have just found the ideal playing eleven going forward in the tournament.

Their opponents in Kolkata Knight Riders, who sit on the table with eight points have been on and off thus far n the tournament. While their dependence on the trio of Narine, Lynn, and Andre Russell is no longer a secret, they would ideally like the likes of Robin Uthappa, Shubhman Gill, and skipper Karthik convert their starts into substantial innings.

While their spinners in Yadav, Chawla, and Narine have been both economical and consistent, their fast bowling still remains a cause of concern. Young Shivam Mavi has impressed with pace and seam but lacks the experience of bowling at the death and their overseas recruits in Mitchell Johnson and Tom Curran have been largely disappointing.

Where: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

When: 3 May 2018, 8:00 PM

Pitch Conditions:

The Eden Gardens pitch has been considered as one of the better conditions for batting whilst assisting spinners, evident from Kolkata Knight Riders strategy of fielding plethora of spinners over the years. The 2016 season though saw the pitch being re-laid and being more conducive to fast as well as reverse-swing bowling evident from the rout of RCB (49 all out) inflicted by the likes of Coulter Nile and Woakes last year.

Statistics over the years: While over the past ten years, the average first innings score has swelled from 167 to 179, the team batting first has won 37.1% times while the chasing side has 62.9% of the occasions.

Head-to-Head:

Total: 20  KKR-7 CSK-12 N/R-1

At Eden Gardens: KKR- 3 CSK- 4

Team News and Playing 11:

Kolkata Knight Riders

  • Nitish Rana had back issue which forced him to retire hurt while batting, and he’ll undergo a medical examination prior to the game. Rinku Singh might replace Rana.
  • Mitchell Johnson and Shivam Mavi had an ordinary outing in the previous game. They are uncertain starters here.

Playing 11: Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Johnson/ Tom Curran, Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana/Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi/Vinay Kumar

Chennai Super Kings

  • Faf du Plessis, opening the innings with Watson, scored quite slowly as per T20 standards. However, he is likely to keep his place in the side.

 Playing 11: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Lungi Ngidi, KM Asif

Where to watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings?

The viewers can watch the match live on Star Sports 1/HD and can also live stream the match on Hotstar.com