The Super Kings from Chennai seem to be writing the redemption chapter in their IPL 2020 story already. There could not have been a stronger indication of an early resurgence than the sound thrashing that they handed to KL Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) began their IPL 2020 season with a win over defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI). As impressive as the victory may have been, they failed to emulate the same in their next three fixtures.
Having lost to the Rajasthan Royals (RR), the Delhi Capitals (DC), and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), not much was expected of CSK ahead of their game against KXIP. With their top order in particular coming under a lot of criticism, a ten-wicket victory was as likely as a Premier League title win has been for Manchester United in the post-Fergie era. Yet, here we are.
Up next in this impressive tale is a game against Dinesh Karthik and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Despite having the likes of big-hitters Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine in their ranks, KKR have had a pretty quiet start to their IPL 2020 campaign.
The Kolkata franchise still find themselves in the top four on the points table, and will look to surge further up. Having failed to conquer the Delhi Capitals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, KKR will want to make amends at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium with a win over arguably the most consistent team in IPL history.
With both teams jostling to get through to the playoff places, we could be in for a cracker of a KKR v CSK fixture at Abu Dhabi.
IPL 2020: KKR v CSK Match Prediction
A lot has been spoken about CSK - their top-order, the middle-order batsmen’s lack of intent, the bowlers’ performances, Sam Curran’s batting position and MS Dhoni’s captaincy. Yet, it all seems forgotten, at least for now. That just goes to show what a ten-wicket victory can do for a team that is apparently struggling and destined for the bottom of the table.
Fans of the Chennai franchise across the world would have heaved a huge sigh of relief as Shane Watson played himself back into form against KXIP. Piyush Chawla’s inconsistency and Kedar Jadhav’s inability to make any impact on the tournament so far seem to have been forgotten in the wake of the crushing victory.
Although several questions are yet to be answered, the momentum is firmly in CSK’s corner, and they will want to make the most of it.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have their fair share of unanswered questions as well. Sunil Narine’s position at the top of the order, Andre Russell’s seeming inability to really get going in IPL 2020, and Rahul Tripathi's fit in the playing XI are all issues that the 2-time IPL champions face.
Pat Cummins, the shiniest jewel in KKR’s locker, has blown hot and cold in the early stages of IPL 2020. While he bowled a couple of extremely economical spells against SRH and RR, they were sandwiched by disastrous performances against MI and DC.
With Narine’s position particularly coming under the scanner, the voices asking for the inclusion of young Tom Banton at the top of the order only seem to be getting louder. Whether he will be included, and whether he will have the kind of impact that is expected of a player of his reputation, remains to be seen.
Both teams would be desperate to stake their claims on the playoff positions early in the tournament. But one could be forgiven for believing that it is destiny for CSK to head home with the spoils from this game, given the statement victory that has made them look like world-beaters all over again.
Prediction: CSK to win today’s IPL 2020 match.
Published 07 Oct 2020, 10:00 IST