Already out of play-offs reckoning, a relaxed Chennai Super Kings are ready to play party-poopers in their bid to foil Kolkata Knight Riders’ desperate bid for a victory in an Indian Premier League game on Thursday.
KKR with 12 points from 12 games would like to win the next two encounters to ensure a smooth passage while CSK, currently at the bottom of the eight-team table, are only playing for pride.
A possibility remains that multiple teams will end up on either 16 or 14 points and a comprehensive victory at this stage of the tournament, will bring the superior net run-rate into the equation when the playoff spots are decided.
CSK results in IPL 2020
|MI vs CSK||19 Sep, Sat (1930)||Abu Dhabi||CSK won by 5 wickets||2|
|RR vs CSK||22 Sep, Tue (1930)||Sharjah||CSK lost by 16 runs||2|
|CSK vs DC||25 Sep, Fri (1930)||Dubai||CSK lost by 44 runs||2|
|CSK vs SRH||2 Oct, Fri (1930)||Dubai||CSK lost by 7 runs||2|
|KXIP vs CSK||4 Oct, Sun (1930)||Dubai||CSK won by 10 wickets||4|
|KKR vs CSK||7 Oct, Wed (1930)||Abu Dhabi||CSK lost by 10 runs||4|
|CSK vs RCB||10 Oct, Sat (1930)||Dubai||CSK lost by 37 runs||4|
|SRH vs CSK||13 Oct, Tue (1930)||Dubai||CSK won by 20 runs||6|
|DC vs CSK||17 Oct, Sat (1930)||Sharjah||CSK lost by 5 wickets||6|
|CSK vs RR||19 Oct, Mon (1930)||Abu Dhabi||CSK lost by 7 wickets||6|
|CSK vs MI||23 Oct, Fri (1930)||Sharjah||CSK lost by 10 wickets||6|
|RCB vs CSK||25 Oct, Sun (1530)||Dubai||CSK won by 8 wickets||8|
KKR results in IPL 2020
|KKR vs MI||23 Sep, Wed (1930)||Abu Dhabi||KKR lost by 49 runs||0|
|KKR vs SRH||26 Sep, Sat (1930)||Abu Dhabi||KKR won by 7 wickets||2|
|RR vs KKR||30 Sep, Wed (1930)||Dubai||KKR won by 37 runs||4|
|DC vs KKR||3 Oct, Sat (1930)||Sharjah||KKR lost by 18 runs||4|
|KKR vs CSK||7 Oct, Wed (1930)||Abu Dhabi||KKR won by 10 runs||6|
|KXIP vs KKR||10 Oct, Sat (1530)||Abu Dhabi||KKR won by 2 runs||8|
|RCB vs KKR||12 Oct, Mon (1930)||Sharjah||KKR lost by 82 runs||8|
|MI vs KKR||16 Oct, Fri (1930)||Abu Dhabi||KKR lost by 8 wickets||8|
|SRH vs KKR||18 Oct, Sun (1530)||Abu Dhabi||KKR won Super Over||10|
|KKR vs RCB||21 Oct, Wed (1930)||Abu Dhabi||KKR lost by 8 wickets||10|
|KKR vs DC||24 Oct, Sat (1530)||Abu Dhabi||KKR won by 59 runs||12|
|KKR vs KXIP||26 Oct, Mon (1930)||Sharjah||KKR lost by 8 wickets||12|
KKR’s batting struggles
It won’t get too easy for KKR against CSK, who handed an eight-wicket thrashing to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous outing. KKR’s unsettled batting order is a point of concern for Eoin Morgan, who would hope that former skipper Dinesh Karthik produces his A-game when it matters most.
Nitish Rana, who shone in the win over Delhi Capitals came a cropper in the subsequent loss to Kings XI Punjab. If the top-order fires, KKR will be better served as inconsistency has hurt the team in the course of the season as has the constant chopping and changing.
The bowlers have done a good job so far, with Tamil Nadu’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy being impressive and earning a spot in the Indian T20 team.
They need to be at the top of their game against the CSK batting unit that has been frustratingly inconsistent but is more than capable of being destructive on its day.
Paceman Pat Cummins, the Knight Riders’ costliest buy, has not been able to make the desired impact with the ball save for one game and would need to put his hand up in this crucial match.
CSK’s bowling variety
Against CSK, which is missing out on the playoffs for the first time ever, Kolkata’s batting faces a varied attack which was boosted with the inclusion of Mitchell Santner in the last game and needs to step up. CSK, on its part, will be aiming to build on the win over RCB and end the season on a high, apart from hurting the chances of play-off hopefuls.
The batting showed some spark with the young Ruturaj Gaikwad coming up with an enterprising knock and skipper Dhoni will be hoping he keeps the good form going.
The CSK bowlers choked a strong RCB batting unit with a performance that reminded CSK of yore and that should be a worry for the KKR batsmen short on consistency. For CSK, any win would be welcome as they endured a forgettable season which is just about to wind down.
England’s World Cup-winning captain Morgan will hope to lead from the front but that would call for a collective performance. There is a lot at stake for the Knights and they would settle for nothing less than a big win.
CSK vs KKR head-to-head
|Span||Matches||CSK wins||KKR wins|
|Ruturaj Gaikwad||Lungi Ngidi||Dwayne Bravo||MS Dhoni|
|Faf du Plessis||Deepak Chahar||Ravindra Jadeja||N Jagadeesan|
|Shane Watson||Karn Sharma||Mitchell Santner|
|Ambati Rayudu||Imran Tahir||Sam Curran|
|M Vijay||Shardul Thakur|
|Kedar Jadhav||Monu Kumar|
|R. Sai Kishore|
|Nitish Rana||Kuldeep Yadav||Andre Russell||Dinesh Karthik|
|Rinku Singh||Prasidh Krishna||Sunil Narine||Nikhil Shankar Naik|
|Shubman Gill||Sandeep Warrier||Pat Cummins|
|Siddhesh Lad||Shivam Mavi||Varun Chakravarthy|
|Eoin Morgan||Kamlesh Nagarkoti||Chris Green|
|Rahul Tripathi||Lockie Ferguson|
|Tom Banton||M Siddharth|
Match starts at 7.30 pm IST and will be live on Star Sports network / Disney+ Hotstar
(With PTI inputs)