CHENNAI: Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look to settle scores against intimidating former title-holders Chennai Super Kings when the two sides clash in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
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CSK had beaten KKR in Kolkata not to long back, and Gautam Gambhir’s men would look to return the compliment in the return leg match.
A stern bowling test awaits the Knight Riders as the Super Kings’ batsmen led by Michael Hussey look in ominous touch.
The left-handed Australian has scored 350 runs, including three half centuries, in the seven matches he has played so far and has provided rapid starts to his side.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni too looks in great finishing touch, as he guided his side through with a blazing 67 off just 37 balls in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Super Kings, however, would be disappointed with the performance of opener Murali Vijay this season.
The local lad hasn’t really fired at the top of the order, scoring just 122 runs in eight games.
Though West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has picked 14 wickets for the CSK in the competition but he has been struggling with the bat.
KKR bowlers, led by Sunil Narine, will look to expose chinks in the CSK’s armour and bolster the visiting side’s chances of finishing in top four.
With four consecutive wins, the yellow brigade would certainly go in as favourites especially in their own backyard.
The Knight Riders, on the other hand, would like to build some momentum after their triumph over Kings XI Punjab on Friday.
The KKR side will look to keep up their good batting effort in order to pose a strong challenge at the Chepauk.
Half way through the league, CSK are placed comfortably at the second spot with five wins in their eight games while the KKR have just won three in as many matches.
KKR will once bank their opening to give them a flourishing start, followed by solidity from veteran South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis.
And with Eoin Morgan proving destructive in the latter half of the innings, KKR would be aware that they have the firepower to humble the Super Kings.
Yusuf Pathan’s poor form has been a big worry for the defending champions as the swashbuckling batsman has been flop in the tournament so far. In eight matches, he has just 105 runs against his name.
Teams (from): Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Brad Haddin, Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee, Debabrata Das, Eoin Morgan, Iqbal Abdulla, Jacques Kallis, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla (W), Shami Ahmed, Pradeep Sangwan, Rajat Bhatia, Ryan McLaren, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sachithra Senanayake, Sarabjit Ladda, Sunil Narine, Yusuf Pathan, Paras Dogra, Sumit Narwal.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C) (W), Akila Dananjaya, Albie Morkel, Srikkanth Anirudha, Ankit Rajpoot, Baba Aparajith, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Dwayne Bravo, Francois du Plessis, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Nuwan Kulasekara, R Karthikeyan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ronit More, Shadab Jakati, Subramaniam Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha.