Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders look to get their campaign on track when they face each other on Wednesday.
It has been a quiet start to the Indian Premier League 2020 for Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. Both teams have been inconsistent in all departments. The two sides will be looking to get a crucial win when they come up against each other on October 7 at Abu Dhabi.
It was the first instance since 2009 when CSK lost three games in a row, after a convincing victory against Mumbai Indians in the first game of the season. The Chennai based team bounced against Kings XI Punjab with a colossal ten-wicket victory.
Meanwhile, KKR has also endured a start-stop campaign. They have won twice and lost two games this season. KKR was involved in a high scoring game against Delhi Capitals in their last fixture, losing the encounter by 18 runs. It was a valiant effort, but the damage was done during Delhi was allowed to set a target of 229 runs.
CSK has been struggling to get starts at the top of the order due to the poor form of Shane Watson. In the game against KXIP, the veteran Australian batsman got going and scored 87 runs, forming an unbeaten 181 run partnership with Faf Du Plessis. Watson’s return to form will be pleasant news for MS Dhoni. The former Indian captain will be hoping that other batsmen, including himself, find the rhythm in the upcoming games.
In the bowling department, CSK has been struggling with spinners. Spin bowling has been CSK’s strength in the past, but this year it has been a cause of concern for the team. Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja are going for big runs in every game, while Imran Tahir is on the sidelines since all foreign slots are filled in the starting XI. CSK need the spinner to stop the flow of runs in middle overs to restrict the opposition for under par totals.
As a batting unit, KKR is also struggling. Eoin Morgan’s knock against Delhi is good news for the team, but the form of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell with the bat remains a concern. Shubman Gill has impressed in few games, but he needs more support from batsmen around him.
In the bowling department, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkotti have been impressive. The young pace bowlers were lethal against RR but couldn’t keep that rhythm against DC. Similar to CSK, KKR is currently struggling to stop the flow of runs in the middle overs.
KKR and CSK are not in the worst situation right now, but they need a win on Wednesday to remain on track to qualify for the playoffs. It is going to be an intriguing battle as there are match-winners in both sides.
By Kiran Thakare