The Chennai Super Kings, who have been ruled out of the playoff race, will now try to spoil the equation of the rest of the teams in the Indian Premier League and their first target will be Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) desperate for a win against whom they are scheduled to play here on Thursday. KKR has 12 points from 12 matches and will have to win the next two matches to secure a place in the playoffs. Chennai is ranked last in the eight-team table and their team will now take the field for prestige. Defeat wins of some teams in this round of the tournament may lead many teams to 14 or 16 points and a better run pace will determine playoff places. Keeping this in mind, it is important for KKR to win by a big margin. The task against Chennai will not be easy for KKR. Chennai defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets in their last match.
KKR's batting line-up is a matter of concern for Eoin Morgan and he hopes that now that the team is in dire need, former captain Dinesh Karthik will be able to give his best. Nitish Rana's performance has also been fluctuating. There is a lack of consistency in the performance of the rest of his batsmen. The bowlers have played a good role in KKR so far. Tamil Nadu mystery spinner Varun Chakraborty has been impressive and he has also got a place in the Indian T20 team due to his good performance. KKR bowlers will have to avoid any laxity in front of the Chennai batsmen. Chennai batsmen also have not been able to consistently perform the same, but when it is their day, they can throw any kind of attack. Kolkata's batsmen will have to overcome the challenge of diversionary attacks in front of Chennai, who are out of the playoff race for the first time. Chennai bowling has gained strength after the inclusion of Mitchell Santner in the playing XI. A win over RCB would have boosted the morale of Chennai players. Young Rituraj Gaikwad played a brilliant innings in the last match and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be expecting this form from him. His other batsmen will also now focus on playing big innings after being free.
Both teams are
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur, Sam Karan, N Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Monu Kumar, R Sai Kishore, Rituraj Gaikwad, Karn Sharma.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Eminent Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi , Varun Chakraborty, Andre Russell, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Sunil Naren, Nikhil Naik, Tom Banton, Tim Siffert.