The Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders(CSK vs KKR), who will come up against each other in Match 5 of VIVO IPL 2018, will be brimming with confidence after thrilling wins in their respective season openers.
CSK outclassed defending champions Mumbai Indians in the opening match. Down and out for all counts at one stage in their run-chase, Dwayne Bravo single-handedly turned the match around in favour of his team. The Trinidadian rescued his team from 118-8 in their chase of 166, with a sensational end innings blitz, before an injured Kedar Jadhav – who returned to bat after Bravo was dismissed in the penultimate over – took the team over the line with two boundaries.
KKR did extremely well to pull back RCB’s reins just when they were in a position to explode. Nitish Rana, used by captain Dinesh Karthik possibly with an intention to slip one or two quiet overs, actually struck two big blows when he dismissed AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli off successive deliveries. KKR then restricted the visitors to a competitive 176-7, which they chased down in 18.5 overs. Sunil Narine’s blitz at the top gave KKR the perfect platform for such a chase, following which Rana and captain Karthik contributed thirties to get the job done.
There were a few surprise selections in the team CSK named in the opener . Some of the strategies employed could be debated ; while Deepak Chahar was an inspired selection (ahead of Shardul Thakur). The team could have done better than asking Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson to open the batting . Kedar Jadhav being ruled out of the season while unfortunate, gives CSK the reason and the opportunity to have a relook at the team combination; it is likely Rayudu would slip down the order and Murali Vijay roped in to open the innings.Where KKR are concerned, they might stick to the XI that took the field against RCB, or at the most explore one change in a bid to tighten up the loose ends.
10 April 2018, 2000Hrs (IST)
M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Suresh Raina is the biggest impact batsman in the CSK line-up; the left-hander bats in the top three, has all the shots in the book and has the ability to play his shots from the word go. He was dismissed for a single-digit score against the Mumbai Indians and will be keen to make amends on his team’s homecoming.
KKR have a solid-looking top five and hence are able to use Sunil Narine as opener. On days the Trinidadian fires – like he did against RCB, he will put his team in a position of strength and give the middle order a platform from which they can explode from the world go. However, on days he doesn’t come off, KKR will want Robin Uthappa to play the role of sheet anchor,hope Chris Lynn can play the destructive innings he is capable of and Russell can finish off things with a flourish.
Both teams fielded three quality spinners each in their previous match – and if the surface at Chepauk behaves how it has done traditionally, expect the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav to come into play big time.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 16, Chennai Super Kings won – 10, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 6
In Chennai: Matches – 7, CSK Won – 5, KKR Won – 2.
Chennai Super Kings have an outstanding win-loss record at home; they’ve won 33 and lost 14 of the 47 IPL matches they’ve played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. In fact, CSK have won 11 of the last 12 matches they played at the venue.
The KKR captain Dinesh Karthik would know the MA Chidambaram Stadium like the back of his palm . However, despite playing in the IPL for all ten seasons, he has only played 5 matches at the Chepauk.
Suresh Raina is the only batsman to have scored atleast 350 runs in each of ten previous seasons of IPL.
MS Dhoni and his boys will travel north for their next fixture; they will visit Mohali to take on Kings XI Punjab on April 15. KKR meanwhile head back home and host Sunrisers Hyderabad next on April 14.