Two teams with 2 wins each so far, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings will take on each other in a clash - looking forward to make sense of their not so great run. While CSK convincingly defeated KXIP by 10 wickets in the previous match, KKR lost their last match against Delhi by 18 runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders - L W W L L
The KKR skipper is having problems of his own, having scored just 37 runs in 4 innings, calls have started to handover the captaincy to Eoin Morgan. However, he has done decently when it comes to leading the team from behind the wicket, winning the franchise 2 out of 4 games. Morgan has come into his own, having scored 18-ball 44 in their last match, strengthening their middle order along with Nitish Rana, who has delivered consistent performances, having scored 58 off 35 balls in the last match. Shubman Gill at the top has been delivering as well, but the gamble of Sunil Narine is yet to pay dividends. Their bowling, which is their strength, has done quite decently, with Pat Cummins churning out good performances after the blunder in the first game. All in all, they have a good team and few tweaks here and there could turn the season for them.
Chennai Super Kings - W L L L W
Uncharacteristically, CSK has had a disappointing run so far, having won only 2 out of 5 matches so far. They did make a thrashing comeback in the last match, winning the match by 10 wickets, but this doesn’t seem like the old Chennai, which could be trusted to perform consistently despite the odds. With Ambati Rayudu finally returning in the last match, their batting looked much more dependable and he also seems to be the lucky charm of the team as they have won only the matches in which he played. CSK’s bowling too looks much better with the comeback of Dwayne Bravo, adding depth and balance to the squad. It will be really interesting to see how their batsmen perform against the strong bowling lineup of KKR.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Nitish Rana
The man has taken up the role of number 3 with extreme ease, scoring 130 runs at a strike rate of 156.62 in the four innings he has played. He has been playing good looking shots in his innings along with timing the ball over the ropes at his will. In the last match, he scored a brilliant fifty against DC, although in a losing cause, but with Dinesh Karthik performing the way he is, the left-hander seems to be the backbone of the middle order, anchoring the whole innings and giving sufficient room to the big-hitters like Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan to express themselves. Hence, Rana will be the key batsman for KKR.
Chennai Super Kings - Faf du Plessis
Having already scored 282 runs at a strike rate of 150 pretty much describes the fantastic season that du Plessis is having. Despite looking rusty at the start of the tournament, he paved his way to good form and now is hitting the ball like anything. In the previous match as well, he along with Watson, won the game for CSK with a 181-run opening stand, giving no chance to opposition bowlers whatsoever to make a comeback in the match. He has by far been the best batsman of CSK and despite Watson coming back to form, the former South African captain will be the key player for CSK.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Pat Cummins
Not picking the key bowler on the basis of price tag, but the highest-paid player Pat Cummins will be the key bowler for KKR in their clash against CSK as the Australian has the potential to blow apart the visibly strong batting lineup of CSK. Although he went for 49 runs in the last match without picking any wickets, he should be cut some slack as the match was in Sharjah, where the wicket almost feels akin to a cement track. He has proved in the recent past that he can be deadly with the new ball, delivering the same against Rajasthan, where he gave away 13 runs for 1 wicket in 3 overs. Hence, KKR will hope that their most priced possession delivers them a win against CSK.
Chennai Super Kings - Shardul Thakur
Despite the presence of Dwayne Bravo, Thakur will hold the key for CSK bowling with the new ball. Although he has been on the expensive side of things, he has used his variations quite well, deceiving batsmen with his knuckle balls and making the most of limited help that pacers have got so far in UAE. Having the knack of picking crucial wickets, Thakur took the all-important wickets of KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran, to get his team in a commanding position in the previous match. Hence, CSK will want Thakur to fire to get themselves a taste of another win.
KKR: Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
When to Watch: Oct 7, 7.30 PM IST.
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India).