Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings: Preview and Prediction
Kolkata Knight Riders dropped to the eighth position in the points table after a four-wicket defeat against bottom-placed Delhi Capitals in their last game. Chennai Super Kings recorded their fourth win of the season with a dominating seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their latest fixture and climbed to the third position in the points table.
What Have They Done So Far?
Kolkata Knight Riders seemed in a comfortable position to challenge the top-four spot this season after winning two of their opening three games in IPL 2023. But they are without a win in their last three games and currently occupy the eighth position in the points table with just four points from their opening six games.
The Nitish Rana-led side was bowled out on just 127 runs, the second-lowest total in IPL 2023 while batting first against Delhi Capitals. It would have been much worse if not for Andre Russell’s 38* off 31 while batting in the no.8 position. Only two more players managed to score in double-digits while the regular performers Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iter, and Rinku Singh scored combined 10 runs.
In bowling, the spinners produced some impressive greedy spells to surprisingly drag the game to the last over but Delhi managed to record a victory with four wickets and four balls remaining. All six wickets came through a spin attack with Varun Chakravarthy, Rana, and Anukul Roy picking two each but once again, the veteran Sunil Narine proved costly.
As expected, the management made wholesome changes to their playing XI with Jason Roy and Litton Das making their debuts and opening an innings for Kolkata. Roy top-scored with 43 off 39 while Litton scored only four runs.
Mandeep Singh also returned to the playing XI but was not able to make a big impact. Kulwant Khejroliya, the left-arm pacer, conceded 15.0 runs per over on his debut for KKR while Umesh Yadav’s dry spell continued.
Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings produced another impressive all-round display to continue their rise in the points table. After surviving a high-scoring encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the MS Dhoni-led side beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the latest clash to make it four wins from their last five games.
Ravindra Jadeja shone again at MA Chidambaram Stadium with three wickets for 22 while young pacers Akash Singh and Matheesha Pathirana bowled economical spells to restrict Sunrisers to just 134/7 while bowling first. Maheesh Theekshana also picked one big wicket of Aiden Markram’s but Moeen Ali and Tushar Deshpande struggled.
Chennai Super Kings were always favorites to chase the total at home and openers provided a flying start again. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 35 off 30 before getting run out at the non-striker’s end in a most unfortunate way. But Devon Conway produced another match-winning knock of 77* off 57 to register an easy chase for Chennai Super Kings with eight balls to spare.
Ben Stokes and Deepak Chahar remain unavailable for a few more games so Chennai is unlikely to make any changes to their playing eleven for the upcoming game. Ambati Rayudu has been struggling for the big knocks in his impact player role but is expected to get more chances due to his valuable experience in IPL.
The Knight Riders are likely to make some changes to their playing eleven with either Tim Southee or Lockie Ferguson returning to the playing eleven but that means either Roy or Litton making a way, which is highly unlikely. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Narayan Jagadeesan are expected to warm the bench again with Roy and Litton continuing to open an innings for KKR.
Head To Head Record
Both teams have faced each other in 27 IPL games so far where Chennai Super Kings have dominated the contest with 17 wins while Kolkata Knight Riders triumphed in nine games. MS Dhoni-led side has won four of the five most recent encounters against Kolkata but the latter won the latest clash by six wickets during the IPL 2022 opener.
MS Dhoni is the leading run-getter in this contest with 550 runs so far while KKR’s Sunil Narine has picked up the most 20 wickets in this clash.
Devon Conway (Chennai Super Kings): Devon Conway played another sensational knock of 77* off 57 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last game. The in-form Kiwi opener smashed 83 off 45 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and now has produced three consecutive fifties to throw his name in the Orange Cap race in IPL 2023.
Conway is leading the scoring chart for Chennai Super Kings with 258 runs from six innings at an average of 51.60 and a strike rate of 144.13 this season.
Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings): The star Indian all-rounder produced his best spell of this season with three timely big wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last game. Jadeja has picked nine wickets from six innings, eight coming from the last four games, at an impressive economy rate of 6.76 so far.
The left-arm spinner has struggled to impress with a bat so far but has an impressive record with a ball against Kolkata with 16 wickets, the most by any current Chennai Super Kings bowler.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Jason Roy, Litton Das, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana ©, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Anukul Roy, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni ©, Matheesha Pathirana, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana
Despite home advantage, Kolkata Knight Riders enter this game as second favorites to Chennai Super Kings. Kolkata has lost three consecutive games despite making changes to their preferred eleven in the last two games.
Chennai Super Kings’ form clearly puts them in the favorites column as a win will boost them to the top of the points table which will further increase the team’s morale. The past record also hampers Kolkata Knight Riders’ chances, as they have lost four of their last five games against CSK.