Dinesh Karthik’s Kolkata will take on MS Dhoni’s Chennai in KKR vs CSK, which will be the 21st match of the 2020 Indian T20 League, as the tournament enters its third week with both the sides struggling for form following a mixed start to their campaign. However, it is Team Chennai who has the upper hand in the head-to-head against Kolkata, winning 13 of their last 21 encounters.
CSK would be oozing with confidence after an astonishing 10-wicket win over Punjab in their last IPL fixture, while KKR would be licking their wounds after falling short of a victory against Delhi Capitals at Sharjah. However, third-placed KKR remain two spots above CSK in the points table with a positive run rate – with both having two wins so far – which makes this clash all the more competitive. Let’s take a look at what all to expect in KKR vs CSK.
Shane Watson vs Shubhman Gill
After tallying just 52 runs in his first four matches Shane Watson was on the verge of losing his place before the former Australian international redeemed himself with a solo performance against KXIP. He scored 83 runs in 53 balls and forged a 181-run partnership with South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, which has calmed down the public demand of dropping Watson.
An ageing Watson has been productive for CSK in the previous two IPL seasons and MS Dhoni would continue to trust him against KKR as well. Having seemingly found his form back, Shane Watson is more than expected to score over 20.50 as an opener.
Though Shubhman Gill has cemented his position as KKR’s opener after Chris Lynn’s departure, the Punjab lad is yet to hit consistency. After an underwhelming display against Mumbai, Gill scored a valiant 70 against SRH and a handy 47 against RR. But, when his team needed his batting the most, while cashing 228 against Delhi, the youngster was dismissed for 28.
Against a spin-friendly CSK bowling attack, however, Gill is expected to open his arms. Moreover, Gill is averaging 50.66 despite being inconsistent and with KKR contemplating a change in his opening partner, the batsman will explode soon.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The English captain in limited-overs has wasted no time in exerting his batting prowess in KKR colours. Despite the change in playing venues and conditions, which affected the performances of many players, Morgan has shown why Brendon McCullum is so fond of him. He has scored 136 runs in four matches with an average of 68.
Faf du Plessis
While most of the players in CSK’s top batting order fumbled in their first four matches, Faf du Plessis had remained their only consistent option. He scored 87 runs in CSK’s 10-wicket win against KXIP to take his tally to 282 in five matches with an average of 94. Despite not being the aggressor in CSK’s opening pair, Du Plessis ended with 11 boundaries and a six last match and the in-form batsman should score over 27.50 against KKR on Wednesday.
Whether it be his slow batting rate or his team selection, CSK skipper MS Dhoni has been at the harsh end of criticism since the start of IPL 2020. However, given his immense success in the tournament’s over the last 12 years, he can never be ruled out. His explosive hitting was on display in CSK’s clash against SRH where Dhoni scored 47 with four boundaries and a six coming fifth in the batting order. Barring that, Dhoni’s unparalleled glove work makes him one of the best wicket-keepers in the world.
CSK: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (WK)(C), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar,
KKR: Shubhman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (WK)(C), Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi,
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