In a battle of big guns, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) hosts Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League today at Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. Two factors lend an air of unpredictability to the match. Rain could visit Chennai in the evening. If rain stays away, the next big question is whether Sunil Narine will play or not. His bowling action has been reported again and he has undergone a test in Chennai. If the result comes out before the match and it is positive, the CSK batsmen will have to put up with unpredictable deliveries of the crafty unconventional spinner.
Preview – CSK
CSK usually wins matches by their batting might. One of their openers will give them a cracking start. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum never fail simultaneously. And Suresh Raina never really fails. MS Dhoni has shown glimpses of his old self in the last match. In the unlikely situation of all these four players flopping, the Chennai team has the insurance policy of Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. It is pretty much fail safe, especially in their home ground.
Dhoni should have noticed the fact that Kolkata Knight Riders’ all three wins of this season have come through chasing. If he can make KKR bat first, half the battle is won. CSK is second in the IPL points table. A win will take them to the top position.
Preview – KKR
Kolkata Knight Riders is third in the IPL table, having registered three wins and got a point from the rain-marred, abandoned match against Rajasthan Royals. There is uncertainty in the team with regards to the availability of Narine. A good option for KKR would be to not play Narine at all even if he is available. He will be under immense psychological pressure and the chances are that he may not be able to perform to the best of his ability.
Knight Riders have a good all-round team, with seemingly no weaknesses. However, they do not have the firepower that CSK has in possession. The trick for KKR lies in containing the Chennai batsmen. It is easier said than done. Still, unless they find a way to tame the big hitters in the CSK line-up, they are likely to be in trouble.
Chennai Super Kings is always the favourite to win at home against any team in the IPL. They have scored eight wins in a row at this ground. This could well be the ninth one.