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Dhoni-led CSK eye another win against struggling KKR

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
April 20, 2021 12:32 IST
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IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, centre, with Suresh Raina, right, and Moeen Ali. Photograph: BCCI

On a roll after back-to-back wins, the vintage Chennai Super Kings would look to extend their winning run when they clash with struggling Kolkata Knight Riders in their next IPL match in Mumbai on Wednesday.

 

After their abject campaign in UAE last year, the CSK started the season in an ominous fashion, losing to Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in a one-sided affair for their second win in three games.

But since then, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side has come on its own with the 'Captain Cool' making the most of his resources at the batting-friendly Wankhede stadium.

Deepak Chahar's brilliance handed them their first win of the season against Punjab Kings, while the two Englishmen -- Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have made an impact with both bat and ball for CSK.

Explosive all-rounder Ali has embraced the No 3 spot with knocks of 36 from 24 balls (against Delhi Capitals), 46 off 31 (against Punjab Kings) and 26 off 20 in his match-winning show against Rajasthan Royals on Monday.

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan with Pat Cummins. Photograph: BCCI

He is also quietly doing the job with his off-spin with Dhoni cleverly bringing him in the mix in the middle overs at the Wankhede stadium.

In their chase of 189, Jos Buttler had started to look ominous and sent a good-length ball from Ravindra Jadeja into the stands as the ball had to be replaced.

Well aware that the dry ball would turn more than the dew-laden wet ball, Dhoni stepped up his attack with Jadeja and Ali from both ends.

While Jadeja dismissed the dangerous looking Buttler and Shivam Dube in one over, Ali accounted for David Miller, Riyan Parag and Chris Morris in his match-turning 3/7.

The only brightspot of their abysmal campaign in UAE, youngster Sam Curran has also made some impact both with the bat and ball.

Be it his 15-ball 34 against in a losing cause to Delhi Capitals, or his bowling in the Powerplay, Curran is giving Dhoni many options, while veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is also chipping with vital contributions with both bat and ball.

Against a side which will play its first match of the season at the Wankhede, smarting from two successive defeats, the Dhoni-led CSK will start as overwhelming favourites against KKR as Eoin Morgan is all set to ring in some changes to bring their campaign back on track.

After their emphatic start against Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR have slipped to fifth spot with defeats to Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

And in both the defeats, the Morgan-led side had the upper hands but could not capitalise on their starts.

IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Sam Curran. Photograph: BCCI

Varun Chakravarthy had dismissed Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar in five balls to have RCB in a spot with 9/2 inside two overs. But in a bizarre decision, Morgan took the mystery spinner out of the attack and brought in Shakib-Al-Hasan as Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers powered them to 204/4.

It remains to be seen if Morgan persists with Shakib or bring in Australian pace bowling all-rounder Ben Cutting in the less spin-friendly conditions.

Morgan also has persisted with the veteran Harbhajan Singh, using him to open the bowling in all the three matches but he has not made much of an impact and could be replaced by left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

KKR head coach Brendon McCullum has already hinted of making some changes after their 38-run defeat to RCB.

As for CSK, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad is enduring a terrible form with scores of 5, 5 and 10 and it remains to be seen whether he makes way for veteran Robin Uthappa or is given a longer rope by Dhoni who is not known to tinker his playing XI much.

Squads

Kolkata Knight Riders:  Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain, w/k), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth.

Match starts: 7.30pm IST.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021