IPL 2018, Match 12: Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings – Match Predictions

The Super Kings clinched a thriller the other evening against the Knight Riders.

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Chennai Super Kings will be running sky-high on confidence after pulling off two absolute heists in their first two games in IPL 11 on the back of some outstanding lower order batting. As they visit Mohali for a face-off against the Kings XI Punjab, they will be pushing for 3 in 3 and gain that early momentum which always helps in the race to the playoffs.

The Kings XI Punjab had a bit of a setback in Bengaluru where they had the opportunity to build on their opening win with another good performance, but they played some really average cricket with the bat and couldn’t get to the par score which meant even a spirited bowling show later couldn’t fetch them the positive result. They will have to quickly recover from that loss as they face one of the greatest IPL teams ever tomorrow.


Pitch and Conditions

Mohali in the first game dished out a slow deck and that’s what they likely to dish out right through this season because of the composition of the Punjab squad which has slow bowling as its main strength. Chennai won’t mind that kind of a deck either as they also bank on their slow bowlers mainly. While they have three spinners in their ranks just like Punjab, their fast bowlers take the pace off the ball more often than not.

Because of the dew, the ball will start skidding onto the bat a bit better later and the slower bowlers might not have the same kind of assistance in the second innings as they would have in the first which is why both the captains will be keen to bat second.

Playing Combination

Kings XI Punjab

Probable Changes – No change

Kings XI Punjab picked Aaron Finch for David Miller in the RCB game with Ravichandran Ashwin saying at the toss that the Australian is one of the best players in the world and he deserves to walk straight into the XI. Although Finch registered a golden duck in the game, it’s unlikely that the skipper would lose trust over him after just one inning. He will surely feature again and will probably bat 3 as he did against RCB.

Mohit Sharma was smashed to all corners of Chinnaswamy the other evening, but he is very experienced in IPL cricket and is one of the death bowlers in the Punjab squad. The alternative that Punjab has for Mohit is Ankit Rajput who is not quite a death bowler. So they will probably stick to Mohit for the time being and give him a couple of more opportunities.

Predicted XI: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (WK), Aaron Finch, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran

Chennai Super Kings

Probable Changes – Murali Vijay, Mark Wood, and Karn Sharma in, Suresh Raina, Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir out

Murali Vijay for Suresh Raina is a forced change as the left-hander is out injured for the next couple of games. So Vijay will make his way in and will open the winnings with Shane Watson, while Ambati Rayudu will bat 3. Also, Chennai seemed to be lacking pace and fizz in their attack against KKR as Andre Russell took them on a journey all around Chepauk.

So they will want to get an overseas quick in to strengthen their pace battery and with Lungi Ngidi having flown back to South Africa, the only option in that regard is Mark Wood. The overseas slot for Wood will be opened by the removal of Imran Tahir. With Tahir not there in the XI, CSK will drop Shardul Thakur for another wrist spinner Karn Sharma.

Predicted XI: Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Mark Wood, Deepak Chahar

Team Comparison

Both CSK’s and Punjab’s batting depend on a fair bit on domestic talent. While they have good overseas strike force as well, it’s the Indian batsmen mainly who form the core of the batting unit which is not such a bad thing on slow decks. Chennai probably has a bit more depth with the bat in Punjab’s comparison, but Punjab is not too far behind in terms of overall quality.

With the ball, the X-factor of Mujeeb and the variations of Ashwin and Tye make Punjab’s attack really multi-dimensional, but CSK also has a lot of bowling options for various stages of the innings. The two sides seem neck-and-neck on paper and it surely promises to be a close encounter.

Probable Top Performers

KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab), Karn Sharma (Chennai Super Kings)

Head to Head

Matches – 17, Chennai Super Kings – 10, Kings XI Punjab – 6, Tie – 1

The timing of the match: 08:00 pm IST

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Select 1

Online – Jio TV, Hotstar

The prediction is for the Chennai Super Kings to beat the Kings XI Punjab in this match.