IPL 2021: Match 15 - KKR Predicted Playing XI Against CSK

IPL 2021: Match 15 – Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Predicted Playing XI Against Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

KKR will have to change their bowling strategy from spin to pace as they shift from Chepauk to Wankhede.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders are coming to Mumbai after a loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore. After starting well in their Chennai leg, their batting performances dipped and the result started getting away from them. Their supposed strength, bowling, wasn’t at its best in the previous match and they need players to set up as they enter a new venue for a couple of matches.

Eoin Morgan’s team will now take on Chennai Super Kings, who have had a good run at the Wankhede Stadium so far. The two teams will meet in Mumbai on Wednesday night.

Here is the predicted XI of the Kolkata Knight Riders for their game against Chennai Super Kings:

Openers (Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana)

Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders have got decent starts from their openers so far in the tournament. However, Shubman Gill would be disappointed having not converted his starts into a big score on three occasions. He has made 15, 33, and 21 in three matches so far and would be desperate to get a big score under his belt. 

Nitish Rana, on the other hand, could not continue his good run with the bat in IPL 2021. But, returning to the Wankhede would be good news for him as the southpaw enjoys batting on conditions suited for it. KKR will most likely continue with their combination. However, there is news floating around that Sunil Narine might come back. This keeps him as a backup opening option if they want to try a pinch-hitter at the top. 

Middle-order (Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik)

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The problem with KKR’s batting against Bangalore was the lack of an innings of substance. Everyone got a start but failed to convert it into an inning like that of AB de Villiers’ or Glenn Maxwell’s earlier that day. Tripathi has shown his ability to hit boundaries and be busy on the crease. He will enjoy batting on the Wankhede surface. 

Speaking of good batting conditions, it will be a relief for Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik that KKR is shifting their base for the next two matches at the Wankhede. Both have struggled with their forms lately and lack runs on their back. Both the batsmen will look for getting a good knock under their belt in these next two matches to feel good about their batting with a long season ahead of them. 

All-rounders (Sunil Narine and Andre Russell)

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

When Shakib Al Hasan was slotted back into the KKR team, replacing Sunil Narine, it seemed like a good inclusion, considering his batting potential. However, it took KKR three matches to understand that the Bangladeshi’s best batting performances have been when he has come up the order, which doesn’t seem like something KKR is interested in doing as of now. 

Shakib is an anchor and Brendon McCullum’s management surely doesn’t want another player like that in the top-order. This brings us to Sunil Narine, whose experience with the ball could be crucial at the Wankhede. Sending him to open on a batting-friendly surface as a pinch-hitter might be a welcome change for KKR. It should be noted though that Narine has issues against the swinging ball, which the CSK bowling unit is capable of doing early on. 

Bowlers (Prasidh Krishna, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy)

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Since KKR has shifted base from Chennai to Mumbai, the onus of the bowling will now rest on the faster bowlers. Pat Cummins should be seen opening the bowling with Prasidh Krishna. Harbhajan Singh is likely to miss this game, considering that his primary use in the first three matches has been to get the left-handed opening batsman in the opposition out, which he didn’t do once. On Wankhede, Shivam Mavi should be a better pick than the veteran off-spinner.

Mavi is a good enough death bowler as well, which will reduce some pressure from Andre Russell who was whacked in his two overs at the death in the previous match. This will also add to Russell’s responsibility of looking after the middle-order. Varun Chakravarthy will partner Sunil Narine in the spin department for KKR in this match. 

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