IPL 2019: Match 18, CSK vs KXIP, Preview: Clash of kings, encounter for top spot

IPL 2019: Match 18, CSK vs KXIP, Preview: Clash of kings, encounter for top spot

With the Super Kings already taken a blow by Mumbai Indians would want to make up with a win at home

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. (Photo: IANS)

Pick-a-boo! This is how the clash between juggernauts Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab can be described. Both the teams are more or less on the same boat travelling towards climbing up the ladder. But, on Saturday either of them can reveal the weakness of others and be catapulted to the top spot.

It has been a great start so far for both the teams as they won six matches together — KXIP: 3 & CSK: 3. This encounter would be a stiff challenge for the home side. As they face the KXIP’s bowling bulldozers in the likes of the Sam Curran, Ravi Ashwin. Well, the vice-versa act can level up the Men in Yellow on the points table.

Ready to roar

On the winning note, Dhoni’s boys are well ahead of Punjab side in IPL with 11 wins off 19 encounters. But, Punjab is a step ahead with their better run rate. For Chennai, the last two matches at MAC proved to be contrasting tales. CSK defeated RCB with ease but had to sweat out to defeat RR. On the blip side, the humid condition in Chennai might irk Ashwin’s clan as the home team is much used to the conditions.

Faf du Plessis might make a cameo replacing Shane Watson while the Kiwis quick Scott Kuggeleijn to make up for Dwayne Bravo. Bravo, who was the most expensive bowler against the Mumbai Indians as he recorded the economy rate of around 12.00. The Caribbean quick had a hamstring injury due to which he will be ousted. With a lot of pace options in the likes of Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh makes a cameo replacing Mohit Sharma for a balanced bowling attack. Also, Mohit has given away a lot of runs in the death against the IPL juggernauts Mumbai Indians in the previous match.

Both the teams have good bowling attack, only one can come out with a positive output, what matters the most is the utilization of the pitch conditions in a smarter way. Will the captain cool keep his calm and guide the team to victory or can Ashwin’s aggressive approach raze down the home side, only time can decide.

Team combinations

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Having Faf Du Plessis in for Watson, the former will open with Ambati Rayudu. Rest the combination will to be similar as it was in Mumbai Indians match. In the previous games, Jadhav in the middle is trying to keep the scorecard ticking while there was a sheer lapse of top order due to Rayudu’s disproportionate form.

CSK probable XI: Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Scott Kuggeleijn

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)

Without Chris Gayle, the Ashwin’s side would go ahead with the option of KL Rahul and Sam Curran to open. Varun Chakravarthy is a possible player to make a comeback after playing only one match off the three. Varun who has played against Kolkata Knight Riders and could pick up one wicket in this season so far will be back in MA Chidambaram.

KXIP probable XI: KL Rahul (wk), Sam Curran, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Varun Chakravarthy, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami.

Focus will be on

Ambati Rayudu

Rayudu was a trump card for the Chennai franchise in the previous edition. But, this season due to the lack of form with bat and on-field his spot is under the scanner. It’s high time the Rayudu have to buck up and give his best to make a stranglehold of his spot.

Ravi Ashwin

With his outstanding performances so far, Experienced Ashwin has given his best so far and can be far more superior on the track like Chennai which is in for of spinners.

Head to Head

Matches: 19; CSK: 11, KXIP: 8.

Stat Attack

7826- Suresh Raina has scored 7826 runs in 299 matches of the format with the strike rate of 138.07.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select 1 HD

Live Streaming – Hotstar

Match Timings – 16:00 IST

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