After two comprehensive wins in two games, Chennai Super Kings will hope to ride the momentum when it takes on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. The three-time champion has adapted to the conditions since its defeat to Delhi Capitals in the first match, winning a game each while chasing and defending.
The CSK has benefitted from the arrival of Moeen Ali, who has provided a spark to its batting firepower, playing at No. 3. With deep batting resources, stretching down to No. 11 Deepak Chahar, the team can be more aggressive at the top of the order. The only area of concern is opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s form, but coach Stephen Fleming categorically said the team would continue to back the youngster.
After a comprehensive win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in its first match, KKR has struggled. It lost from a position of strength against both Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The team will need a bit more consistency from its middle-order of Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik. Coach Brendon McCullum hinted that Sunil Narine could play in this game, most likely as a replacement for Shakib Al Hasan.
The KKR batsmen will have to support Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill in the middle overs. CSK have had two good games and will hope their captain MS Dhoni fires with the bat soon. Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran could be key to CSK’s success.
The KKR are coming off a disappointing loss which concluded the Chennai leg of their campaign. While the horrendous collapse against MI would’ve hurt a lot, a comprehensive defeat to RCB underlined the holes in their side.
Andre Russell’s death bowling came under the scanner as AB de Villiers tore him apart at the same venue where he picked up a five-wicket haul. While Russell is sure to bounce back hard, there is certainly a case for bringing in someone like Lockie Ferguson for the Mumbai leg of KKR’s season.