The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is set to witness Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Chennai Super Kings in match number 15 on Wednesday. The match is set to be held at the Wankhede Stadium in Chennai. After managing to hold on in their first game, KKR have suffered back-to-back losses in which they didn’t do justice with the bat. Meanwhile, CSK have bounced back in style, winning two straight games, losing the first one against Delhi. This marks the first game for KKR at the Wankhede, as they played all three games in Chennai. Meanwhile, CSK have played all three games in Mumbai and will know the conditions better.
After a batting failure MI from a position of comfort, KKR were outplayed in all three departments by the RCB in the previous game. After conceding 204 runs, KKR faltered in the chase to lose by a big margin. Eoin Morgan needs to make changes in his side. Harbhajan Singh hasn’t done enough and Shakib has failed to produce substance with the bat. They could bring in Shivam Mavi in place of Bhajji given the nature of pitch. Sunil Narine can come in for Shakib as the spin all-rounder. Lockie Ferguson can be an option for an inconsistent Pat Cummins. KKR need a response as their body language has suffered a dip.
CSK have been good in the last two games. The senior personalities have chipped in and the manner in which MS Dhoni has led the side, it needs to be lauded. Moeen Ali has been superb alongside England team-mate Sam Curran. Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja have impressed as well. CSK will aim for a third straight win and extend their dominance against KKR, who under Morgan have been found wanting. CSK have better balance and personnel and go into the game as favourites. Also, the conditions could help them more as compared to KKR, who are questionable with the bat.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
KKR need a few changes in personnel as they bid adieu to the Chepauk Stadium. With a much better surface on offer here as compared to Chennai, the Knights could be relieved. The batsmen may enjoy a bit more here and getting a strong total is what will bring the confidence back. KKR need to push Andre Russell above Dinesh Karthik, who has struggled. They need muscle from Russell in terms of boundaries. Narine could be a welcome boost in place of Shakib. Also, Mavi can bring more fizz in the bowling than Harbhajan, who hasn’t taken a single wicket. Morgan needs to be more decisive in his approach and make sound decisions. Not continuing, Varun Chakravarthy just when he claimed two wickets in the second over against RCB raised questions. He needs to understand the game situations better.
CSK’s batting line up made notable contributions as an unit against RR on Monday. The useful knocks helped them post 188/9. With a strong bowling unit as them, anything above 180 is defendable. Curran has been a star with his all-round attributes. Moeen has enjoyed himself so far with both bat and ball. He is their star player. Bravo and Jadeja have also been sound in their applications. Atop, Faf du Plessis has provided the support. An experienced outfit like CSK are looking solid and that should worry KKR, who aren’t as consistent. Dhoni had a decent time in the middle against RR and that will help his confidence. CSK will feel good about themselves and another two points could come their way against KKR.
Probable playing XIs: PBKS vs SRH
Chennai probable playing XI:
Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
KKR probable playing XI:
Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan/Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh/Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: Faf du Plessis, Nitish Rana, MS Dhoni, Rahul Tripathi
All-rounders: Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Andre Russell
Bowlers: Prasidh Krishna, Dwayne Bravo, Varun Chakravarthy
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)
Batsmen: Faf du Plessis, Nitish Rana, MS Dhoni, Shubman Gill, Suresh Raina
All-rounders: Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Andre Russell
Bowlers: Dwayne Bravo, Varun Chakravarthy
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
Faf du Plessis is a must in the line-up. He is someone who looks so assured of himself and can hand CSK the start they need. Also. Rana can be a top pick as far as KKR are concerned. He is the in-form batsman for them.
The four all-rounders in both fantasy teams are must choices. They can be the pivotal match-winners and can change the fortunes of the sides in a quick fashion.
In the bowling department, Bravo and Varun should be selected. Both have the pedigree in terms of taking wickets at key moments.
Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices
Moeen Ali: Coming in at number three has benefited Moeen, who has already hit 108 runs at 36.00. He has a best of 46. With the ball, he has also claimed four wickets. The English all-rounder deserves the backing,
Nitish Rana: The KKR opener has enjoyed himself in the middle and could once again be a force to be reckoned with. He has looked sharp and explosive at the same time. Rana got 18 in the last game but could make a comeback here.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices
In terms of vice-captaincy, Curran is a sound option. The England white-ball specialist has impressed the ball, claiming three wickets and also scoring 52 runs. One can also choose Andre Russell, who is dangerous on any given day. The pitch may help him score rapidly.
Other choices: Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Chakravarthy
Pitch report and conditions
The pitch at the Wankhede has supported batting at large. CSK got 188 in the last game. Before that, both Punjab and DC got 190-plus scores. Bowlers will need to be wise here and exploit the conditions in the middle and death overs. The temperature is expected around 33 degree Celsius on the day before falling a bit in the evening.
The average first innings score here is 176. This season has seen the average score rise up as teams have enjoyed themselves across both innings.
The two teams have faced each other on 23 occasions. CSK have won 14 games and KKR have pocketed the remaining 8. One match didn’t have a result. These two teams met twice in IPL 2020 and shared the spoils.
We feel CSK will be comfortable against a KKR side where several players are out of form. Dhoni’s side is expected to win.