IPL 2018, KKR vs CSK: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) probable playing XI against Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
The Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Chennai Super Kings for a clash at the Eden Gardens on Thursday (May 3). It will be a tussle between two teams in the right half of the points table, and both will be looking to extend their lead over the bottom four teams by gaining two points from this encounter.
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KKR have been fairly consistent in the tournament so far and are fourth in the league, with eight points in eight matches. RCB are close behind them, with just two points separating them from the playoffs spots.
The explosive duo of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine is set to open the batting against the Chennai Super Kings. The Australian has been in good form recently and will be high on confidence, riding on the back of a match-winning half-century against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Robin Uthappa, who hasn't brought his best to the table in the tournament so far, will come in at the one-down position and will be rearing to get some runs under his belt.
Under-19 sensation, Shubman Gill, might also get a promotion up the order and may enter the fold at the fall of the second wicket. It will be a good opportunity for the youngster to display his batting prowess at the big stage.
All-rounder Andre Russell will take up the Number five spot in the batting order. He started off the tournament in a blistering fashion, but his form with the bat as well as the ball has tapered since then.
KKR skipper and wicket-keeper, Dinesh Karthik, has played around with his batting position through the tournament. He will come into the middle only after accessing the situation of the game thoroughly.
Nitish Rana has been a regular in the KKR playing XI since the start of this season but will have to sit this one out, thanks to the injury he sustained in the previous game. He retired hurt against RCB on Sunday with a lower back spasm. Rinku Singh, whose first two games in the IPL did not go well last month, is likely to get another crack in the first XI in place of the left-hander.
Mitchell Johnson will be the spearhead of the hosts' bowling attack. His pace upfront will be the vital cog for KKR to dismantle the powerful and in-form top order of the CSK contingent. Shivam Mavi, another pick from India's successful campaign in the under-19 World Cup earlier this year, will be the second seamer for the hosts.
Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav, along with Narine, will complete the spin-bowling department of the Kolkata franchise.
It will be a tough test for Karthik and Co. to come up against a strong force like the Chennai Super Kings, who are sitting pretty at the top of the table. However, they have the home advantage at their side and if they execute their plans to the hilt on the day, they have the right mix of exuberant youngsters and seasoned campaigners to pull one over MS Dhoni and his side.
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