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Preview: M29 -KKR vs CSK

Kolkata Knight Riders play host to the Chennai Super Kings.

What

Match 29 of VIVO IPL 2019 will see the Kolkata Knight Riders play host to the Chennai Super Kings.

The Knight Riders have four wins from seven matches this season. One of their three losses was to the Chennai Super Kings in Match 23. Following the loss in Chennai, the Knight Riders have lost one more match – against the Delhi Capitals on Friday night. Dinesh Karthik and company will be desperate to put the brakes on their losing streak at two and ensure they continue to remain in the top half of the table.

A few of the Knight Riders’ players took ill and hence KKR couldn’t field their first-choice XI in the previous match. Both openers – Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine – were indisposed and that forced the management to deviate from their tried and trusted combination. Narine and Lynn have not lit up the tournament yet, but they bring experience and were just starting to find rhythm. It remains to be seen if they have recovered sufficiently to be drafted into the XI.

The Chennai Super Kings are comfortably perched at the top of the table with six wins from seven matches. Whether it is because of the vibes in the dressing room, the influence of the captain MS Dhoni, or the way the coaching staff prepares the team, the Super Kings just know how to win matches. In their last outing against the Rajasthan Royals, they chased down 152 despite being 24 for 4.

As a captain, MS Dhoni had built a reputation of being someone who wouldn’t tinker with the team too often. However, this season, he has made strategic changes to the XI. Given that the conditions at the Eden Gardens have had very little assistance for the spinners, one would expect the Super Kings will be considering fielding an additional quick bowler; Mitchell Santner, despite his match-winning six in the  previous, may lose his place to either Scott Kuggeleijn or Mohit Sharma.

When

14 April 2019, 4pm IST

Where

Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Previous Match XIs:

Kolkata Knight Riders:Joe Denly, Shubman Gill, RobbieUthappa, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Carlos Brathwaite, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson.

Chennai Super Kings:Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.

Protagonists

Andre Russell is used by most teams in the capacity of finisher. But for Kolkata Knight Riders this season, he has become a banker; the lowest score he’s made in his six hits this season is 45. With his string of scores this season, Russell has set a new IPL record for the most consecutive innings with scores of 45 or more.

Robbie Uthappa has been the other consistent run-scorer for the Knight Riders; the team will be better served though if he can kick on and convert starts to big scores.

MS Dhoni is Chennai Super Kings’ man-in-form; the captain is scoring runs consistently, and is able to pull out the big hits - on demand and against the spinners too.

Ambati Rayudu couldn’t have timed his return to form any better; after poor returns with the bat in the last few matches, questions were being asked about his place in the Indian team. However Rayudu produced the goods at the right time; batting at the number four position, he scored a patient 57 and joined hands with the captain in resurrecting the chase in the previous match.

Suresh Raina and Shane Watson have had a quiet time with the bat, and CSK will want them to find form as they enter the second half of the league season. Watson has only scored 48 runs in his last four outings, while Raina has only managed 51 runs from his last four hits.

Head to Head in Indian Premier League

Overall: Matches – 19,Kolkata Knight Riders – 7, Chennai Super Kings –12.

Trivia

The Kolkata Knight Riders’ scoring rate of 9.18 is the best among all teams in VIVO IPL 2019, while Chennai Super Kings’scoring rate of 7.09 is the lowest.

CSK’s overall bowling economy rate of 6.93 is the best in VIVO IPL 2019.

MS Dhoni needs 61 runs to complete 4000 runs as captain in the IPL.

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