Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their 15th match of the IPL 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. After defeating SRH by 10 runs, KKR went down to Mumbai Indians by the same margin. They were thrashed by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 38 runs in their most recent encounter. CSK, on the other hand, began with a seven-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals but have since registered impressive wins against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). With KKR and CSK all set to meet on Wednesday, here are three player battles to watch out for.
- Nitish Rana vs Deepak Chahar
Nitish Rana has been excellent at the top of the inning for KKR so far. He smashed a match-winning 80 against SRH and followed it up with a valiant 57 against MI. Although the innings was in vain, the left-hander looked in cracking form. The law of averages caught up with him and he perished for 18 against RCB. Rana’s confidence should still be on a high though when he faces CSK. He will look to get the team off to a good start again.
For CSK, their accurate pacer Deepak Chahar has once again been impressive with his incisive bowling. Chahar went wicketless against Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals but was unplayable in the match against PBKS, where he claimed exceptional figures of 4 for 13. There was some movement on offer in the game and Chahar exploited the same to the hilt. He will be hoping for some in the match against KKR as well. If he gets it, he could trouble Rana and a few others.
2. Moeen Ali vs Varun Chakravarthy
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has done wonderfully well for CSK so far, batting at number three. He has registered scores of 36, 46 and 26, all in quick time, in the three matches so far, apart from picking up wickets. Moeen’s success with the bat has allowed CSK to offset a hat-trick of failures by opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. The England left-hander has adeptly found the boundaries in the powerplay overs, which has given CSK good momentum.
KKR have utilized leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthyat the top of the innings on a few occasions. Eoin Morgan went with him to open the bowling in the match against RCB and it was among the few things that went right for KKR in that match. The leg-spinner got the big scalp of RCB captain Virat Kohli and outfoxed Rajat Patidar as well. If KKR continue bowling him at the top of the innings, Chakravarthy will face a significant challenge from Moeen, who will definitely look to attack him.
3. Andre Russell vs Sam Curran
Over the last two seasons, KKR’s monster hitter Andre Russell has clearly not been the game-changer he was in IPL 2019. He played a rash shot to be dismissed by Rashid Khan against SRH and struggled against the Trent Boult-Jasprit Bumrah duo in the match against MI. Although KKR went to RCB as well, Russell displayed glimpses of his old form, striking two sixes and three fours in his 20-ball 31. KKR would want more of the same from Russell in the upcoming game, if anything even more substantial.
Sam Curran has been excellent for CSK, especially at the death. He has all the variations in his armoury to trouble the best in the business. He conceded only 12 runs in three overs in the victory over PBKS. In the match against RR, he was even more impressive, picking up figures of 2 for 24. Curran is very good with his yorkers as well as slower balls at the death. His tussle with Russell, if the two come face-to-face, could make for intriguing viewing.