A quick turnaround for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will see them take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday night in IPL 2021. The match will witness Eoin Morgan and MS Dhoni, two of the finest captains of the game, come face to face.
CSK are on a roll despite starting the campaign with a disappointing loss. MS Dhoni’s men have won two on the trot, with dominant wins propelling them to third in the table with a tournament-best NRR of +1.194.
They beat the Rajasthan Royals by 45 runs in their last game, with an all-round performance. Several players contributed with the bat, and the same was the case with the ball as MS Dhoni won on his 200th game as CSK skipper.
Many touted CSK to struggle in IPL 2021, but they have adjusted to the conditions at Wankhede better than expected. While CSK are settling in well in Mumbai, KKR would be happy to see the back of Chennai, CSK’s home turf.
Despite starting their campaign with a win, Eoin Morgan’s men have lost their way a bit, losing two on the trot. The Maxwell-de Villiers show blew them away in the last game as KKR lost to RCB by 38 runs.
CSK dominate the head-to-head record between the two sides and have won 14 of the games played between the two. Two-time IPL champions KKR have won just eight. Since IPL 2019, CSK have lost just once to KKR in the league.
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IPL 2021: KKR vs CSK Match Prediction
It will be KKR’s first game in Mumbai, and the team would be happy to move away from the turning Chepauk wicket. The change in conditions may prompt KKR to make a couple of changes as they seek to return to winning ways.
Harbhajan Singh may make way for a pacer like Shivam Mavi, considering the nature of the Mumbai surface. But that is a difficult decision that what appears on the surface, when one considers the off-spinner’s record against CSK batsmen. Harbhajan Singh concedes at just over seven at the Wankhede and has dismissed Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis five and three times, respectively.
Brendon McCullum has hinted that Sunil Narine might be getting a look-in, and the West Indian may come in in place of Shakib Al Hasan. Sunil Narine has a solid record against CSK (14 wickets in 13 games), with MS Dhoni famously never hitting a boundary against the spinner in the IPL. The lack of a genuine quick in CSK’s ranks may also help Sunil Narine the pinch-hitter, considering he struggles to get going against express pacers.
The rest of the side should remain the same, and KKR’s team management will be expecting more from their famous trio on Wednesday. Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell have combined to score just 115 runs this season, with all three striking at below 130.
CSK are unlikely to change a team that has seen them win two in two. MS Dhoni stuck with Dwayne Bravo in the last match, and the veteran all-rounder played a crucial role against RR. Lungi Ngidi may still have to wait for his IPL 2021 chance.
Stephen Fleming has backed Ruturaj Gaikwad to come good despite his poor showing against RR. The franchise has a history of giving players the long rope, meaning Robin Uthappa is unlikely to make his CSK debut against his former team.
CSK will be wary of Andre Russell’s death overs threat. The West Indian strikes at 160+ against the franchise, and the team would do well to keep Dre Russ silent at the Wankhede.
Although it is CSK who are the more settled outfit, KKR may have the upper hand in this encounter. The venue change should benefit them, with Wankhede suiting their team's make-up much more than Chennai.
Expect Eoin Morgan to pull one over MS Dhoni, although CSK will surely give them a good fight on Wednesday night.
Prediction: KKR to win