Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have more match-winners than MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He made this observation while previewing today's IPL 2020 clash between the two sides in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that the Chennai Super Kings seem to have regained their mojo after their convincing win against the Kings XI Punjab.
"If you look at Chennai Super Kings, the lion has arrived and it has also roared. The way they demolished Punjab, the magic is back for MS Dhoni's Chennai."
He mentioned that the Chennai Super Kings are unlikely to make any changes for this match, although they could opt to bring in Josh Hazlewood for Sam Curran later in the tournament.
"I don't think they will be making any changes. They are waiting for Rayudu to make runs again and Kedar also to score runs, if all that happens they might bring Josh Hazlewood in place of Sam Curran because their death bowling is a bit of a concern for Dhoni's team."
The renowned commentator stated that the Kolkata Knight Riders should definitely open the batting with Rahul Tripathi instead of Sunil Narine.
"Kolkata Knight Riders do not need to make any personnel changes. They should make one change for sure, they should make Rahul Tripathi open and send Sunil Narine down the order. That's the only change that I foresee."
He added that the Kolkata Knight Riders could consider playing Kuldeep Yadav instead of Shivam Mavi or Kamlesh Nagarkoti if the pitch in Abu Dhabi is likely to assist spin.
"The other thing I am thinking is that if the match is on the same pitch as the Mumbai-Rajasthan match, they can play Kuldeep Yadav instead of a fast bowler because you have depth in the bowling department as the spinner might come into the picture on a used pitch."
Aakash Chopra observed that both the teams are almost equally matched. He opined that the Kolkata Knight Riders have more match-winners than their opponents, and asked them to make better use of Eoin Morgan's form with the bat.
"Both the teams are very good. But if I look at only the match-winners, I feel Kolkata Knight Riders have a few more. One more thing they need to keep in mind is that they should send Eoin Morgan up the order so that they can make the best use of his form."
The former Kolkata Knight Riders batsman also reckoned that the team could opt for Varun Chakravarthy as one of the opening bowlers in order to stifle Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis.
"I also suggest that Kolkata Knight Riders can give the new ball to Varun Chakravarthy from one end because CSK's two overseas openers like pace and they might get stuck if you bowl spin."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings encounter
"Deepak Chahar's bowling against Shubman Gill's batting will be an intriguing contest for me. One will get the new ball to swing and Gill will be in front of him who bats in a technically compact fashion."
While pointing out that he expects it to be a tight encounter, Aakash Chopra chose the Chennai Super Kings to come up trumps against the Kolkata Knight Riders in tonight's IPL 2020 encounter.
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"It is very difficult to pick a winner as it will be a close contest. If Chennai wins this encounter, I feel they will not look back after that. Even if Kolkata loses this encounter, I feel they will still have enough firepower. I am going with Chennai as my gut feeling."
The Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings are currently placed fourth and fifth respectively in the IPL 2020 points table, with 4 points each. A win would help either side climb to the third spot, above the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Published 07 Oct 2020, 13:30 IST