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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 01 May 2014 - 03:59pm IST

Preview : Match 21 – CSK v KKR

MSD’s Super Kings host Knight Riders in Ranchi

What

Pepsi IPL 2014 arrives in India. After some exhilarating action in the first leg of the competition in the UAE, the tournament heads back to its roots.

The first game of India leg of the competition will see the Chennai Super Kings pitted against the Kolkata Knight Riders. CSK were slow off the blocks, losing to Kings XI Punjab in their opening tie of the season. But since then, they have rolled over Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and are placed second in league standings.

The Kolkata Knight Riders have two wins from five matches. They nearly had another match in the kitty, but for losing their way in the run-chase against the Rajasthan Royals in their last outing, which was eventually decided on the basis of a Super Over after the regulation period concluded with both teams tied on the same score.

When

Friday, May 2, 2014, 8 pm IST

Where

JSCA International Cricket Stadium, Ranchi

The Protagonists

The numbers say the story. Between them, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum have faced more than 50 percent of the deliveries and contributed more than half the runs scored by their team. The opening pair has provided CSK with starts every time and either of them has finished as the team’s top-scorer in four of the five matches this season. The one other player to keep an eye on – for reasons other than just cricket – will be their skipper MS Dhoni. It is not often that the crowd gets to see one of their own in action; the JSCA International Cricket Stadium is sure to explode once the hometown hero, MSD, steps on the field.

Among the players sporting the purple and gold jersey, keep an eye on Gautam Gambhir (who broke his disastrous run and came good in the previous match) and Sunil Narine. With the KKR skipper back among the runs, it will take a significant amount of pressure off the shoulders of Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis – the team’s top two run-getters so far. Also, keep an eye on the gem KKR have unearthed this season – Suryakumar Yadav. The 23-year-old from Mumbai has emerged as a very good finisher; he has impressed with his match awareness, temperament and choice of shots.

Notes from Previous match


Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad: CSK did very well in not allowing the opposition to post big partnerships. Every time SRH looked to build a partnership, one of the CSK bowlers pulled them back by picking up a wicket. That will be one of the items under the “Jobs well done” column in the coach’s diary. Stephen Fleming will hopefully have a word or two for his batsmen too – who got off to starts, were well-set, but didn’t carry on to finish the job.

Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals: The biggest positive for KKR is that their skipper showed signs of getting back to form. Areas of concern will be how the batsmen made a hash of what should have been a straightforward and simple run-chase. Among other things that call for improvement will be decision making and match awareness; Jacques Kallis didn’t bowl a second over despite conceding only four runs in his solitary over. Plus, the decision to have men patrolling the boundary in the final delivery of the Super Over showed the lack of match awareness.

Previous Meetings


Two-time IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings, have a stranglehold over the Kolkata Knight Riders having won eight of the 12 contests between the two teams. When these two sides met last season, CSK prevailed on both occasions. They chased down 120 in the first match in Kolkata and then registered a 14-run win after posting 200 runs on the board at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Trivia

MS Dhoni has played four innings in matches at Ranchi – across all formats – and has scored 93 runs at a strike-rate of 211.36.

In Pepsi IPL 2013, the JSCA International Cricket Stadium in Ranchi was one of Kolkata Knight Riders’ home venues. This time they will occupy the visiting team’s dressing room.

The top three batsmen in the CSK line-up have so far scored 532 runs – more than any other team in Pepsi IPL 2014.

What Next

The Chennai Super Kings will hit the road and travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils on May 5. The Kolkata Knight Riders play the second of their four back-to-back away games when they take on the Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad.

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