The Kolkata Knight Riders will lock horns with the Chennai Super Kings in the 15th match of IPL 2021 on Wednesday, 21st April, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It will be the second match of a rare weekday double-header on Wednesday, with the Punjab Kings going up against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first matchup.
KKR have one win from their three games, losing their last two games after winning the first. CSK, meanwhile, coasted to two wins against PBKS and RR after being steamrolled by DC in their opening encounter of IPL 2021.
The Knight Riders are coming off a disappointing loss which concluded the Chennai leg of their campaign. While the horrendous collapse against MI would've hurt a lot, a comprehensive defeat to RCB underlined the holes in their side.
Andre Russell's death bowling came under the scanner as AB de Villiers tore him apart at the same venue where he picked up a five-wicket haul. While Russell is sure to bounce back hard, there is certainly a case for bringing in someone like Lockie Ferguson for the Mumbai leg of KKR's season.
Their young top three have done really well so far, but contributions from others haven't been good enough. Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell need to deliver for KKR in the upcoming games. One positive for them is that Wankhede is similar to Eden Gardens in terms of how the pitch plays, and KKR should be a much stronger side at this venue.
CSK are coming into this game on the back of a mammoth 45-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals. In an innings where only one batsman crossed the 30-run mark, CSK's long batting order was on display as everyone chipped in with decent contributions to get the side to 188 runs in 20 overs.
The Super Kings started decently with the ball, but RR were still in the game with Jos Buttler at the crease. However, Ravindra Jadeja got the ball to grip and turn to dismiss Buttler and CSK were on the front foot post Buttler's dismissal.
Moeen Ali added three wickets to his kitty to go with his 26-run cameo as CSK found turn on a Wankhede track, with dew not playing much of a role in the match.
CSK have done well to bounce back from a loss in their opener and both their wins since have been clinical. MS Dhoni's men have hit back hard at those who wrote them off and will look to carry on their winning momentum against KKR.
Both of these teams have won a game each in IPL 2020 and they'll want to secure a victory here for very different reasons. Nevertheless, expect a cracking encounter in Mumbai on Wednesday night.
IPL 2021: KKR vs. CSK Match Details
Date: 21st April 2021 (Wednesday).
Time: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
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It should be a warm and clear evening in Mumbai with an average temperature of around 30 degrees celsius. No rain interruptions should arise, while the dew will continue to have a say on proceedings.
While it will support the seamers to an extent, the surface at the Wankhede should favor the batsmen, and we're likely to be in for a high-scoring contest. Captains should bowl first if they win the toss, with any score above 190 a competitive one.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR have some tough decisions to make ahead of this game. With Sunil Narine and Lockie Ferguson waiting in the wings, the management could drop Shakib and go for either of the two. Shivam Mavi could come in for Harbhajan Singh, considering Wankhede's seamer-friendly track.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan/ Lockie Ferguson/ Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Harbhajan Singh/ Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK should go with the same playing XI for this match, with head coach Stephen Fleming continuing to back Ruturaj Gaikwad. However, the prospect of playing an in-form Robin Uthappa against his former side is tempting and we could see CSK open with him.
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad/ Robin Uthappa, Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C/WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, DJ Bravo, Shardul Thakur, and Deepak Chahar.
IPL 2021: KKR vs CSK Match Prediction
Despite the firepower in KKR's camp, they're yet to settle in on their best playing XI. While the Wankhede pitch will suit their playing style, they'll find it hard to adjust in time. Expect CSK to get another win to their name.
Prediction: Chennai Super Kings to win.
IPL 2021: KKR vs. CSK TV and Live Streaming Details
TV: Star Sports Network.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP.