Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings are the two best teams in the IPL. They have played once this season and CSK won that match comfortably. That was unexpected.
KKR will want to set that right. This is their chance to get some revenge for their loss to CSK in the last game. For that they will need to find a way to exploit the many weaknesses CSK have – players like Shane Watson and DJ Bravo. They were once among the best players in T20 cricket, but this season both pros look like they are well past it.
CSK on the other hand have found a very good all-rounder in Mitchell Santner and will look to using him as much as possible. Who can forget Santner’s last ball six against Ben Stokes that won his team the match from an impossible situation? He is clearly a match winner and will find a permanent spot in this CSK team.
Ravindu Jadeja has also done well as a batsman. Jadeja remember, has three triple centuries in first class cricket. But he hasn’t done much of note as a batsman in the IPL. This season could change all of that.
For KKR, Dinesh Karthik and Robin Uthappa – two of their seniormost players have to do much more with the bat to justify their selection. They have both been out of sorts, which is why the team has had to depend too heavily on Andre Russell.
Sure, Russell is the #1 cricketer in the world right now – and destructive with the bat. But he cannot come up with match winning performances every single time. Rest of the team has to contribute as well. Else KKR will be in the danger of being seen as a one-man team.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Chris Lynn, 2 Sunil Narine, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Dinesh Karthik, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Shubman Gill, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Prasidh Krishna, 11 Lockie Ferguson
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Faf du Plessis, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni, 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Scott Kuggeleijn, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Imran Tahir, 10 Shardul Thakur, 11 Deepak Chahar
Prediction: Good, tight contest. KKR will have the home advantage, but CSK have MS Dhoni. So the crowd will be cheering for him as much as they cheer for the home team – that happens everywhere in India! CSK to win by a whisker.