A couple of days back, on October 25, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were on top of their game with both bat and ball which fueled their big 8-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
However, just 24 hours later, the MS Dhoni-led side's celebrations were put to a halt, courtesy of the Rajasthan Royals' win over the Mumbai Indians. RR's win meant that the Super Kings were guaranteed to finish out of the top four for the first time in the franchise's history.
With nothing to lose going forward, CSK will be coming into today's clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as potential party poopers, with the team in dire need of picking up two important points from this clash.
KKR though, will need to conjure up a way to keep out of trouble, with their 59-run win against the Delhi Capitals sandwiching losses to RCB and most recently, the resurgent Kings XI Punjab.
While KKR are better placed than SRH and RR in their quest for a spot in the last four, they'll be well aware of the threat that KXIP pose, and Eoin Morgan's men will also want to improve their Net Run Rate to have a proper shot at making the IPL 2020 playoffs.
KKR have a chance at re-occupying the fourth spot on the IPL points table today, and although that might only be temporary, the stakes on offer makes this Chennai v Kolkata clash that much more interesting.
IPL 2020: CSK v KKR Match Prediction
If CSK's previous encounter against RCB is anything to go by, the Super Kings faithful will take heart from the all-round performance which was on display. The bowling unit put together an impressive show to restrict the strong RCB batting unit to just 145/6, before young Ruturaj Gaikwad's half-century and contributions from the rest of the batsmen helped CSK cross the line with 8 balls to spare.
KKR, on the other hand, were yet again dented by the collective failure of most of their batsmen, while the bowlers failed to restrict KXIP from scaling down the 150-run target.
The Knight Riders' campaign this season has been marred by inconsistency, and an injury to star foreign import Andre Russell has done them no good. Add to that the musical chairs in the middle order, and KKR find themselves in a whole world of trouble.
The biggest positive for KKR, though, is that they've managed to fit in Sunil Narine into the playing XI, and the all-rounder's contributions with the bat and ball in the middle overs will be crucial for Morgan's men.
CSK will want to stand guard against what happened the last time these two teams met, with the batsmen unable to score off Narine's bowling in the second half of the chase that brought about their downfall.
Gaikwad's positive intent at the top will serve CSK well for the rest of their IPL 2020 campaign though, and with Sam Curran contributing with the bat lower down the order, the Super Kings batting seems to be getting into shape, albeit a tad too late.
KKR haven't done themselves any favours by experimenting with their batting order and the bowling unit throughout the season, and with the race for the playoffs spots heating up, Morgan's men will certainly be under the pump.
CSK will be coming into this side with some momentum, and considering that they will want to bow out of the competition on a high, expect them to give their best on the field today.
Prediction: CSK to win todayPublished 29 Oct 2020, 11:23 IST