Chennai Super Kings have always been one of the heavyweights of the Indian Premier League. The team has consistently ended in the top 3 for all the years they have participated in the tournament. They also have the highest win percentage among all the teams. But the three-time champions have a tough run in this year’s IPL.
KXIP, on the other hand, has shown some impressive batting performances, with two 200+ scores in the IPL already. CSK and KXIP currently occupy the bottom two spots, but KXIP is way ahead of CSK in terms of run rate.
CSK’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far
CSK started on a winning note, clinching a clinical victory over reigning champions Mumbai Indians. But ever since, they are finding it difficult to chase down any significant target. They failed to reach the target of 216 against the Rajasthan Royals in their second match. Even 175 and 164 against Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad proved too much for them.
CSK is missing the edge and style with which they perform every year. But that does not mean they cannot bounce back from here and still get into the playoffs.
Players That Can Change The Game
Top-order batsman Ambati Rayadu and Faf du Plessis both started with good knocks in the first match against MI and have been more or less consistent. But CSK’s middle order is struggling and often crumbling like a pack of cards in front of the opposition’s bowling attack. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja are trying, but not striking the ball as cleanly as they would want to.
Their bowling attack consisting of Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, DJ Bravo, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, and Sam Curran is a good one on paper. But what would have proved to be a formidable attack in the Indian Subcontinent pitches is not making a difference in UAE’s grounds. The team is missing an all-rounder in Suresh Raina, who is great with both bat and ball and excellent in the field.
KXIP’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far
KXIP has managed one clean victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their second match. They almost had the first one as well but lost it to DC in the Super Over. In the third match, they fell short of only 3 runs from the target of 226 set by RR. They lost by quite a significant margin of 48 runs against MI in the last match.
One of their biggest problems seems to be death over bowling. KXIP has given away 30 runs into DC, 30 once again to RR, and 29 to MI in the last few overs of their bowling.
Players That Can Change The Game
Skipper KL Rahul has been phenomenal up the order. Both have scored a ton each, with Rahul’s contributing to their sole win this season. Nicholas Pooran and Krishnappa Gowtham have been proving themselves and some heavy-hitting along with the middle order.
The team continues to leave out their one-time power-hitter, Chris Gayle. Glenn Maxwell is having a bad season as well, but all he needs to do is find his touch and connect the bat with the ball.
Their bowling has been average so far – nothing extraordinary. Mohammad Shami is the veteran, but fans should keep an eye out for Sheldon Cottrel or Ravi Bishnoi to make an unexpected difference.
The Venue, Pitch, and Verdict
Both the teams have secured only one win so far out of four matches, so they will be eagerly chasing the tournament’s second victory and climb up the points table. KXIP has a strong and consistent enough batting line up to power through CSK’s bowling attack. However, CSK is one of those teams which can turn around at any time.
Opponents always need to keep one eye out for one game-changing over from Bravo or a crucial stumping from MS Dhoni or Shane Watson returning to form – and everything can turn around in a matter of minutes.
The match will take place at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Humidity is expected to be around 68% and temperature about 30°C. Dubai has been a batsman-favoring pitch so far. It has also hosted both the matches that went into high scoring super overs. A first innings score of 180 seems to be par for the venue.