Two sides with a similar form guide, with two wins and three losses, Chennai Super Kings will take on the fifth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders in a must-win game for the Men in Purple and Gold. For CSK, who are out of the tournament, it is all about aiming to try out players for next year’s IPL.
Chennai Super Kings - W L L L W
The sleeping Kings are finally awake, on the back of just one win against their cross-city rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore in what was an impressive all-round display from the franchise. While Ruturaj Gaikwad shone with his incredible batting display, with a 51-ball 65, the Super Kings will still be concerned about the batting form of their Proteas star Faf du Plessis, who has scored 25,1,10 in his last three games. From the bowling front, CSK would be heartened by the fact that their slower bowlers have come to the party, with a near-perfect game against the in-form RCB side, where they controlled the middle-phase of the encounter.
Kolkata Knight Riders - L W L W L
The three Ls in front of the two W’s has been the season of Kolkata Knight Riders - one that defines inconsistent display from them. While the recovery of Andre Russell is not yet reported, it is expected that they would go with the same line-up that played in the last fixture in Sharjah against Kings XI Punjab. While Shubman Gill continued to show his batting prowess, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana’s form is a real concern. On the other hand, Eoin Morgan too would want to continue his form and put on a show for his side while Karthik is still continuing to recover from his bad spell of form. On the bowling front, Morgan should start to utilise Lockie Ferguson more in the powerplay, as they aim to put their campaign back on track.
Chennai Super Kings - Faf du Plessis
While Ruturaj Gaikwad has finally shown his potential, in the fixture against RCB, the form of their Proteas star would be a little concerning, especially after such a start in the innings, where he took on Chris Morris’ bowling. In the 12 games this season, du Plessis has scored 401 runs, still way behind the others in the list of top run-scorers. His average too has taken a hit, falling down to 40.1. One aspect of his batting, which Chennai wouldn’t be too assured about, is his dot ball percentage, which is 33.3%, which means that he would have to recuperate that with his stroke-making ability. The Saffer would want to replicate his form against DC, where he scored 58 runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill
One of the consistent batsmen in this inconsistent KKR batting outfit, Shubman Gill will remain key in their must-win clash against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday. For the men in Purple and Gold, the right-handed Indian opener has scored the most runs this season, with 331 runs in 11 appearances, at an average of 34.4. With the game in Dubai, it would be crucial for KKR to play out CSK’s spin-bowling, who would once again be dangerous in these conditions. Gill has that necessary skill-set to take on CSK’s bowling, especially spin bowling with his impressive batting style. With the likes of Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine lower in the order, KKR would be expecting their opener to once again get them off to a good start.
Chennai Super Kings - Imran Tahir
In both the games, the leg-spinner went wicketless, despite multiple opportunities going his way in antagonizing fashion. However, for the 41-year-old, it was just the start of the competition, having been on the bench from the first game. This time around KKR, who has four right-handers in the top-order, Tahir has the opportunity to pick up wickets and be the key bowler for Super Kings. Alongside that, captain Morgan too isn’t the best player against leg-spin while Sunil Narine might start attacking the leg-spinner but he’s too experienced to fall under such traps.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Lockie Ferguson
Despite having played just four games, the Kiwi speedster has already got off to the best start possible, with six wickets. Against CSK, spinners haven’t quite performed to the best, with the pacers taking most of the wickets this season. With Pat Cummins has not yet hit his peak form, the right-arm pacer would be key to their chances against Chennai in a must-win game for the franchise, who are on the edge of qualifying for the play-off stage after a loss to their nearest rivals, Kings XI Punjab.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
When to Watch: Oct 29, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)